Amazon.com, Inc. announced that it is beginning site selection activities for its first distribution center in Illinois.
The company plans to invest $75 million into the project, and expects to create at least 1,000 new full-time jobs.
Paul Misener, Amazon vice president, global public policy, said in a statement that the state of Illinois has an excellent workforce and they’re excited to roll up their sleeves and find the right locations, break ground, and start hiring.
This will be Amazon’s first physical distribution center in Illinois, and it is scheduled to be operational by next year. Amazon will begin hiring for the full-time jobs next year, and expects to fill at least 1,000 jobs by 2017.
Amazon has been opening one to two distribution centers in states all over the map, as a part of agreements worked out with the states that requires the retailer to start collecting taxes for online transactions. Under current federal law, it requires the company to have a physical presence in the state in order for transactions involving online purchases by state residents to be taxed.
However, laws taxing the purchases were passed by states and lawsuits against these laws have been making their way through the courts. Last year in October, the Illinois Supreme Court declared unconstitutional the so-called Amazon tax law which would have required Amazon and other large online retailers to start collecting and submitting sales taxes to the state. A similar law is now set to become effective starting next year.
The United States Congress is working on the Marketplace Fairness Act to sort out this disconnect between state and federal law. But Amazon and the states where it has reached agreements for collecting sales tax are now ahead of the curve. With the new distribution center located in Illinois, Amazon will be able to follow both state and federal law.
Of course, none of this takes away from the big impact that a $75 million investment with 1,000 or more new jobs will have in the Chicagoland community that Amazon selects for the distribution center. It also helps Amazon provide faster same-day delivery for the large Chicago market.
Gov. Pat Quinn said in a statement that Illinois is leading the Midwest in job creation and Amazon will strengthen that growth by delivering 1,000 new jobs to the state.
Senator Dick Durbin likewise noted that he couldn’t be more pleased that Amazon has chosen to make this substantial investment in Illinois, announcing 1,000 jobs with good benefits right off the bat and an opportunity to expand in the future.