Amazon opening 4th big distribution center in California

Amazon.com, continuing to make good on a compromise with California officials over sales-tax collection, announced Tuesday it will open a fourth major distribution center in the state.

The fourth center, in the Inland Empire city of Moreno Valley, joins centers already open in Patterson, Tracy and San Bernardino. The announcement came the same day Gov. Jerry Brown, who brokered the compromise agreement a year ago with Amazon, attended a ceremony at the San Bernardino facility, which opened last year and employs 1,400 workers.

“It’s great that our laws can accommodate this kind of investment,” Brown said in San Bernardino.

Amazon said the Moreno Valley site will employ more than 1,000 full-time workers.

For a while in 2011, Amazon and Brown looked like they were going to war. The governor signed a law forcing the Internet giant to collect sales tax from California customers. Amazon launched a signature-gathering campaign, hoping to overturn the law at the ballot box.

The showdown was averted when the two sides reached a compromise. The Legislature passed a new law that let Amazon delay sales-tax collection until September 2012. The company pledged informally to begin opening distribution centers that would lead to 10,000 jobs in the state. It’s not clear how many total jobs the company has created so far.

It also wasn’t clear when the Moreno Valley center will open.

The surge in warehouse construction is part of a strategy Amazon has adopted in the past couple of years. The company is building distribution centers adjacent to major metro areas across the country in order to shrink delivery times.