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Amazon.com warehouses

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Amazon's ability to avoid charging its customers sales tax has long been a thorn in the side of brick-and-mortar merchants who aren't quite so blessed — to say nothing of state coffers in desperate need of that revenue. But in 2012, the online retail giant announced it will build two distribution centers here, and is accepting incentives in exchange for collecting sales tax beginning next year, leveling the playing field and creating jobs in the process. Small retailers will, however, now have to contend with the possibility that Amazon moves ahead with same-day fulfillment, given its new geographic advantage.

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