COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Amazon has selected Ohio as a major Midwest hub for its cloud computing operations,
a decision the governor hailed Friday as a victory for the high-tech future of a state whose legacy was
built on heavy manufacturing.
"This is really an intellectual triumph in a lot of ways," Republican Gov. John Kasich said
during an announcement event. "This is something that will send a message to our young people that,
you want to think, you want to live in the future, you want to understand technology, you stay right
here in Ohio."
Kasich, a potential 2016 presidential contender, blushed when asked whether he would still be governor
when the plan comes to fruition.
The deal with the Seattle-based online retailing giant was brokered over about a year by Ohio’s
privatized job-creation entity, JobsOhio. Under the arrangement, Amazon will invest about $1 billion in
two existing and one future Amazon Web Services data centers in the Columbus suburbs of Dublin, Hilliard
and New Albany.
All told, the expansion will amount to 1,000 well-paying jobs — about $80,000 yearly — over the next
several years, said Paul Misener, company vice president of global public policy. The total includes
positions at fulfillment centers for Amazon orders that aren’t yet finalized.
A separate incentive package gives Amazon sales tax breaks on certain equipment purchases associated with
As part of the deal, Amazon plans to begin collecting sales taxes Monday on all online purchases by Ohio
customers. Officials couldn’t immediately estimate potential sales tax receipts for Ohio. But Misener
said if online purchases were subject to similar rules in all 50 states, which would require a change in
federal law, Ohio’s share of Amazon’s sales tax collections would be between $150 million and $300
Gordon Gaugh, president and CEO of the Ohio Retail Merchants Association, said he’s pleased that the
online retailer has agreed to collect taxes on its sales as part of the deal.
"We’re really appreciative that they’ve agreed to play by the same rules as the brick-and-mortar
retailers in the state of Ohio," he said.
JobsOhio CEO John Minor said Amazon Web Services is a major player in data analytics and cloud computing
that was targeted by JobsOhio. He said it will quickly become an integral part of Ohio’s digital
"It really makes it easier to start and build technology businesses here in Ohio," Minor said.
Kasich said the deal proves the mettle of JobsOhio, which has been criticized for its lack of
transparency. The governor said creating an entity to move "at the speed of business" using
job-creation experts is paying off.
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