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Amazon is securing a physical presence in Hillsborough and Miami-Dade counties

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Amazon.com is negotiating to sign a lease at the Miami International Distribution Center in Doral for warehouse/distribution space in excess of 300,000 square feet.

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The online retailer is also on pace to have its expansive warehouse in Ruskin Florida, just outside of Tampa, up and running in time for Christmas ordering. The 1.1 million square foot facility in Hillsborough County is expected to receive a partial certificate of occupancy in the fall of 2014 and Amazon is likely to hire more than the 1,000 employees it originally anticipated.

Jim Ford, interim head of the Hillsborough county building and construction services said, “They are on a very accelerated deadline.”

Starting on Thursday, May 1, 2014, Amazon will start charging sales tax on purchases in Florida. The Florida Department of Revenue requires online companies to begin collecting sales taxes once a company has a physical presence in the state. With no prior physical presence in the state, purchases made within the state through Amazon.com were not subject to state taxes that will soon change.

The Florida Retail Federation estimates the state will collect in sales tax revenue, approximately $80 million a year from Amazon.com sales.

Although Amazon.com is headquartered in Seattle Washington, through its Chairman, CEO and President Jeffrey “Jeff” Bezos there is a connection to the state of Florida. Jeff Bezos graduated from Miami Palmetto Senior High School where he was valedictorian of his class.

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