S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley opposes giving online retailer Amazon.com millions of dollars in annual sales tax exemptions … except when she supports giving Amazon.com millions of dollars in annual sales tax exemptions.
We know … it’s hard to follow.
Yet while Haley continues to dance this “Amazon kabuki,” her Secretary of Commerce isn’t conflicted on the matter – he’s urging South Carolina Senators to pass the legislation.
From the political blog Process Story:
… it’s not a big surprise that Gov. Nikki Haley’s administration is pushing for the Amazon tax breaks behind the scenes. Haley’s top allies at the S.C. Policy Council are against it, as are the tea partyers, but drawing an absolute line in the sand that could lead to losing jobs isn’t a viable option. However, she has to save face with her base, hence the public pronouncements.
In the Senate, there’s not much consensus on the incentive plan, but many are sticking with the plan as a result of circumstance. The rationalization is while they don’t want the incentives, many members consider not offering them as a sign the state went back on its word. They’re also concerned about the setting of a bad precedent.
Recently, Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler asked Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt a simple question — would he vote for it? Hitt dodged the question and replied that he wasn’t a lawmaker. Peeler pressed him again, and Hitt said, “yes.” That’s pretty much all it took to get a lot of senators on board.
As we’ve noted on several occasions, Bobby Hitt represents everything about economic development that we thought Haley opposed.
We guess that makes him the perfect choice to advance these incentives while Haley opposes them …