Skip to comments.Amazon Halts Associates Program with Califormnia Businesses because Of Gov. Brown (VANITY)
Posted on 06/29/2011 1:31:09 PM PDT by Sneakyuser
I have been an Amazon Associates member for 6 years but no more because of the need of California to try to gain more revenue (without providing services). This email came in this afternoon:
For well over a decade, the Amazon Associates Program has worked with thousands of California residents. Unfortunately, a potential new law that may be signed by Governor Brown compels us to terminate this program for California-based participants. It specifically imposes the collection of taxes from consumers on sales by online retailers - including but not limited to those referred by California-based marketing affiliates like you - even if those retailers have no physical presence in the state. (continued)
As a result, we will terminate contracts with all California residents that are participants in the Amazon Associates Program as of the date (if any) that the California law becomes effective. We will send a follow-up notice to you confirming the termination date if the California law is enacted. In the event that the California law does not become effective before September 30, 2011, we withdraw this notice. As of the termination date, California residents will no longer receive advertising fees for sales referred to Amazon.com, Endless.com, MYHABIT.COM or SmallParts.com. Please be assured that all qualifying advertising fees earned on or before the termination date will be processed and paid in full in accordance with the regular payment schedule.
You are receiving this email because our records indicate that you are a resident of California. If you are not currently a resident of California, or if you are relocating to another state in the near future, you can manage the details of your Associates account here. And if you relocate to another state in the near future please contact us for reinstatement into the Amazon Associates Program.
To avoid confusion, we would like to clarify that this development will only impact our ability to offer the Associates Program to California residents and will not affect their ability to purchase from Amazon.com, Endless.com, MYHABIT.COM or SmallParts.com.
We have enjoyed working with you and other California-based participants in the Amazon Associates Program and, if this situation is rectified, would very much welcome the opportunity to re-open our Associates Program to California residents. We are also working on alternative ways to help California residents monetize their websites and we will be sure to contact you when these become available.
The Amazon Associates Team
I got that one too.
Jerry Brown is an addled old loser. One Democratic pinhead legislator said taxing Amazon sales would bring back business to brick and mortar stores. Who says it’s the California State Assylum’s, whoops, Assembly’s job to make big box stores competitive with online retailers?? How about the money those of us in the middle class save by dealing with Amazon instead?? The Assembly thinks it’s their job to make us pay less competitive prices??
A Nevada PO box can't be too expensive, can it? :=) That's what I'm considering.
Governor Moonbeam meet John Galt
Hick seems to be an "average" governor so far, but Ritter was so bad we may never recover.
Amazon is a POS company trying to bully the states one by one. Pretty soon they will run out of states to bully and intimidate. I have ordered lots of used books, CDs and DVDs for computer illiterate friends. I notice that some of the biggest dealers are in California
They have been pulling the same scam in Texas....It’s not just Guvnoor Moonbeam’s California
Who are they to resist infinite taxation?
All money rightfully belongs to the government.
Stick 'em up!
Amazon is a great company. I applaud Amazon for their stand against increasing taxes. I am sure you submit to your state the amount of Sales tax from Amazon purchases?
The tax burden from all levels of government is insanely too high.
I am off to buy more from Amazon today!! Thanks for giving me the incentive (and BTW, I value the sale tax savings) A dollar less in the hands of the government parasite class, is a dollar kept in the productive citizen's hand.
yes. colo was a right to work state.
I believe in a level playing field.
If store A sells you a book and that book is subject to a sales tax, then if store B sells you a book it too must be subject to the same sales tax.
IMHO, this is not a matter of over-taxation (although that’s a huge problem in and of itself). It’s a matter of fairness.
Did you come from behind, or under that rock.
I’m renting out my address ~ $1000 a year ~ bet that’s far cheaper than California taxes.
We do not highly price this false doctrine of "fairness".
They are never going to run out of states, because there are 5 that have no sales tax.
Might check out the current rules on mail receiving agents too ~ some of them have been smacked down hard for purposes of maintaining mail security (in light of 9/11 and various other tragedies and problems).
The Post Office needs your address to rent you a box. If you use a PO Box for commercial purposes ANYONE can ask for your real address.
Didn't you ask if this was a cheap alternative?
Well, it's not, and it doesn't give you a new address to evade California tax collectors.
Now, about using some other person's address in a distant state ~ that's your business.
Speaking of fairness, it us unfair to force a business to collect and send taxes to the 49 states where it isn’t located. And a bureaucratic nightmare as well, especially for all the small online businesses...
“The Assembly thinks its their job to make us pay less competitive prices??”
Is this interfering with interstate commerce?
As a consumer, I like the ability to not pay sales tax when possible. You must like being taxed more. I guess you can probably find a form for your state to report all non-sales tax purchases you make and pay if you choose. I on the other hand will get a 6% discount in GA whenever possible.
No, they didn't pull a scam in Texas. The Texas Attorney General decided to change the rules on sales tax collections for catalog and online sales to treat a distribution center for order shipping fulfillment as if it were a retail store, thereby making millions of dollars of untaxable sales suddenly and retroactively taxable and telling Amazon they had to collect and submit those sales taxes to the state. Amazon responded by closing the distribution center. So this crony action by the AG to do the bidding of the Best Buys and Walmarts and Sears stores destroyed hundreds of jobs.
But then you have to pay postage on top of that. The minus sales tax offsets the postage and allows competition. I have always found Amazon to be a great and responsive vendor.
Thanks to dimocrats in Arkansas, the local libraries just lost their associates status because of this need to tax and spend. The funny part, is that the state is actually taking money away from its public libraries.
Of course like all dimocrats, only money they control is proper money.
Go Amazon. It’s high time we all look at ways to defund the government spenders.
“If store A sells you a book and that book is subject to a sales tax, then if store B sells you a book it too must be subject to the same sales tax.”
But if I buy at store B, and I also have to pay shipping and handling, then I won’t buy from store B.
(Catalog sales have always been not subject to local sales taxes.)
But I do stand by my original post. It is, I believe, mainline conservative thought to feel that all businesses, large and small, be treated the same way.
You are an idiot.
If store A sells you a book and that book is subject to a sales tax, then if store B sells you a book it too must be subject to the same sales tax.
So, if you go on vacation to a state that has a lower tax rate than your home state, will you keep track of all your taxable expenses and then write your state treasury a check for the difference in sales tax on all of your vacation expenses in the interest of that level playing field?
Who gets to determine what's fair? I prefer to deal in right and wrong, not fair and unfair. It's objective versus subjective.
I'll give you that. Good point.
ONLY as long as the catalog company does not have a retail store in that tax jurisdiction. Sears Roebuck catalog sales were always subject to sales tax if there was a Sears store in the state. Same for any other catalog. So if you bought stuff from the Estes Model Rocketry catalog, you would pay sales tax if you were in Colorado, but not in other states. Lands End catalog sales have always been taxable in states where there was a Lands End store (very few states until recently).
You will pony up the difference in taxes...correct!?
Let me ask you a question....Do you believe in states rights?
If store A sells you an item, the store may charge you a state sales tax, a county sales tax, a local sales tax, and any number of other taxes. Basically, the store needs to know only the sales taxes he must charge all customers in his immediate location.
In the USA, there are over 4000 different tax zones. If store B is an on-line retailer, for him to charge you the sales tax for your location, then he would have to know which of the 4000+ different sales taxes to charge you. That's why he does not have to charge you sales tax if you are out of state.
Ugh, not at all. But one thing I've seen in my neck of the woods is special tax breaks going to businesses that locate in special redevelopment areas.
So let's say you own a shoe store and two blocks away there's a special redevelopment area where I build my shoe store. Because of my location, I pay no taxes for 25 years.
I can and will undercut you on price, forcing you out of business. Of course, you can relocate, but good luck selling your building. That's not a level playing field, and I don't see how Amazon is all that different.
Just wondering if you are going to respond to any of the replies..................
In the meantime, there's no "fair" way to collect taxes except at the point of a gun ~ and that's the truth.
Not even John Kerry will pay one penny more than is due.
So if the Walmarts and Best Buys and Targets of the world want to operate under the same sales tax regulations that apply to Amazon and other catalog stores, they should close all of their stores in all stated other than their headquarters and just use online catalogs for all their sales orders.
Absolutely! And for what it's worth, I feel that the 10th Amendment is probably the Amendment that's been trampled on the most.
And I do see the point of the many folks here arguing that taxing on-line vendors would be a paperwork nightmare.
But take a look at my post #34 for another perspective.
The difference is that any small storeowner in America with any sense is also an Amazon affiliate. For the local store owner, Amazon is a wonderful extra revenue stream that in many cases is the difference between survival and failure.
Basically a horse of a different color...
Are you sure you’re on the right site? Perhaps you miskeyed in the URL and got FR instead of the Daily KOS or the DU. Amazon is helping the country starve the beast and you are a critic? I guess it just proves that not everyone on FR has the requisite grey matter to effectively participate!
Here is how Amazon is different. It does not have a retail store in the same state. Another difference is that your scenario is talking about property taxes or business taxes rather than sales taxes, so that argument would not in any way apply to the Amazon situation.
Let's amend your scenario to make it a little closer to the Amazon situation: You own a shoe store in a blue state like People's Republic of Massivetaxes where the local sales tax rate is 12%, and because you didn't do a very good job of market analysis before investing in this venture, you located it two blocks away from the state line bordering a red state that manages to get by with a sales tax rate of 2%. (This is a hypothetical situation but there are a few states with no sales tax and some with a rate around 4%.) Now everything else being all equal and level playing field like you prefer, if I open a store right along the state line just three or four blocks from yours, I could enjoy a 10% price difference against you -- which might not be enough to drive you out of business but could certainly attract business away from your store. On the other hand, any other shoe store that might locate close to my store would also have that price advantage against you but would have to compete against me in my market. Now HERE is essentially what you appear to support in terms of government intervention to "level the playing field": Your home state of Massivetaxes passes a law that forces my store in red state Freedomland to check the ID of every customer that buys my shoes, and if that customer is a resident of Massivetaxes, I have to calculate the difference in sales taxes between the rate that applies to my sales vs the rate that would apply to your sales, and then send a check for the difference to your state's treasury. My response to this attempt by your state to apply its sales tax rates to my business is this: If I wanted to be your tax collector and force my customers to pay your tax rates, I would have located my store in your sorry-ass state.
And by the way, as a Texan I am proud of the policies that the great state of Texas normally takes, but I am disappointed that my state authorities decided to try to bully Amazon into paying Texas state sales taxes on their sales into our state just because they had opened a distribution center (not a retail sales store) and created jobs in Texas, and I agree with Amazon's response to shut the distribution center down in response.
My only comment is that States Rights should come into play here. If the voters of Massivetaxes are stupid (or weak)enough accept a 12% sales tax, that's their “right”.
But the state of Massivetaxes has no right to tell the state of Freedomland to check ID’s, or do anything else for that matter.
Which is EXACTLY why states where Amazon does not have a retail sales outlet should NOT be allowed to force Amazon to collect sales taxes just because their residents travel to Amazon via the information superhighway to purchase products.
Not even to level the playing field to protect those unfortunate merchants in Massivetaxes who are being unfairly undercut by the predatory practices of those greedy businesses in Freedomland?
Amazon is now trying to bribe Texas now .... if Texas agrees to not collect online sales tax until 2016
It was the Republican Comptroller of Texas that tried to collect that $269 million and if Amazon leaves Texas in a snit then you better believe Amazon will eventually lose in Texas court and have to pony up $269 million
I don't believe the Texas Amazon distribution center has been shut down yet.
“objective versus subjective”
If online retilers don’t pay sales tax then income, or other, taxes will be raised at least enough to make up the difference.
Objectivity does clear up the issue. The end of sales taxes is not the end of paying those same monies.
Same as you I have bought plenty of stuff online because it is cheaper and no sales tax. Actually Amazon is an OK company, it's just their bullying of states and trying to pick them off one by one (on sales tax) that I find odious
There will be lots of dead malls soon because of people cheaping out via the internet and avoiding sales tax
Everyone noticed Best Buy doing awful last Christmas. Internet sales with their the tax evasion angle were cited.
Nope. I'm no Constitutional scholar, but IMHO States Rights trump the concerns of those merchants.
But in the Amazon case, the situation is a bit murkier. True, Amazon is located in another state. But the customer is located in the state in question. The customer has not physically crossed state lines to make a purchase.