Amazon is continuing to expand its operations in the US, today announcing that it will invest $150 million to locate and build a new fulfilment center in Jeffersonville, Indiana and creating up to 1,050 new jobs in the area.
The new center will be Amazon’s fifth in Indiana, ensuring that by the time its built it will have more than 4 million square feet of warehouse space in the state, operating alongside its facilities in Indianapolis, Whitestown and Plainfield.
Amazon has worked with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, receiving up to $2 million in tax credits and an additional $300,000 in training grants to help extend job opportunities to people living in the area. Amazon will have to hire employees to become eligible for the grants but the company will almost certainly start the recruitment process as it expects to open the new facility in the autumn.
In January, we reported that Amazon would begin collecting Indiana’s 7% sales tax from customers in 2014 after reaching a deal with the local authorities. The company’s tax situation had been surrounded by controversy for months, as states became increasingly keen to collect taxes on online sales, sometimes described as a ‘loophole’.
Many US states have complained that although Amazon is web-based, the company should be forced to pay state taxes, like its bricks-and-mortar counterparts.
The company’s decision to locate its fulfilment operations Indiana is no surprise. The city of Jeffersonville has more than “4,700 miles of mainline rail track, three international airports and more than 11,000 total highway miles” and each year, more than 1.1 billion tons of freight travel through the state, making it the fifth busiest state for commercial freight traffic in the US.