Online retail giant Amazon will begin collecting sales tax in Missouri next month.

Amazon spokeswoman Jill Kerr told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the online company will start charging Missouri state sales tax Feb. 1.

Amazon and its subsidiaries already collect sales tax on merchandise shipped to more than 30 states.

The company announced this month that it planned to hire 100,000 employees nationwide during the next 18 months. That prompted speculation that Amazon might open distribution facilities in Missouri but Amazon officials declined to comment on the possibility.

The state sales tax rate in Missouri is 4.225 percent.

Several state and retail groups have argued that stores in the state that must charge sales tax are at a disadvantage in competing against Amazon.

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