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Amazon.com gets tax breaks for Reno facility

CARSON CITY — A state panel has granted tax breaks to Amazon.com for its new distribution center in Reno.

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development board took the action Friday after Amazon said it plans $28 million in capital equipment and building improvements at the new site.

The company is closing its distribution center in Fernley, about 30 miles east of Reno, and moving to a 100,000-square-foot warehouse in Reno.

The board approved an abatement of all but the constitutionally imposed 2 percent sales tax, as well as abatements of half of the modified business tax for four years and half of the personal property tax for 10 years. That will cost $1.3 million in taxes, the Nevada Appeal reported.

The new plant will be a completely different operation than the Fernley facility, said Mike Grella, Amazon’s executive director for development.

It will focus on handling large-size purchases such as big flat-screen TVs. The Fernley center has dealt with a wide variety of much smaller items that could be loaded into trays on a conveyor belt.

“It’s a completely different inventory,” Grella said.

All employees at the Fernley facility will be given a chance to move to the new plant in similar positions and will be provided training for their new jobs, he added. The company plans to open the new operation in 2015.

“It’s important that we allow everybody to keep their jobs,” Grella said.

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