Now that Amazon.com has agreed to start collecting sales taxes on California transactions, and build warehouses in California to fill orders, here’s a suggestion:
Amazon.com couldn’t find a better place to build one or more of those warehouses — order fulfillment facilities as they sometimes are called — than in Madera.
Madera is in the center of California (the Heart of California, as we are wont to say) and it is on a freeway (SR 99), two railroads (Union Pacific and Burlington Northern) and a high-quality municipal airport which can accommodate jet traffic.
There’s plenty of ready-todevelop land available in the city. There are skilled contractors ready to start raising the necessary buildings.
There’s an eager workforce standing in line to take the jobs fulfillment facilities offer, and local wage rates are lower than in larger cities.
The Valley’s good yearround weather would mean fewer interruptions for planes and trucks.
The relative lack of traffic, compared to coastal locations, would enable quick dispatch of delivery vehicles.
Amazon.com wants to build fulfillment facilities to improve its service. Until now, one of its principal advantages has been that it didn’t collect sales taxes in the states where it did business. Now that it has agreed, in the face to legislative and gubernatorial insistence, to start such collections, it has decided to improve service to maintain and grow its mail-order business. Centrally located fulfillment facilities would serve the purpose of warehousing merchandise in large quantities, filling orders quickly and getting those orders to the customers as quickly as possible. Madera is no less than one day from any location in California, which would make it ideal as a staging point for receiving merchandise and fulfilling orders.
This could be a good opportunity for economic development, because other companies, if they saw Amazon.com succeed here, might follow suit.