Thursday, January 06, 2011

Action alert! may boot me--because of an Illinois internet sales tax

Thank you Marathon Pundit readers for the occasional purchase from from this site. I don't make much money from these sales, and what I earn gets plowed back into the blog--usually for book purchases for my travel series and of course political research.

But I might soon be a former Amazon associate. Anne Leary of Backyard Conservative is also on the endangered list.

From Internet Retailer today:

Lawmakers in Illinois have voted for a 6.25% tax on online retail purchases. The levy, which still needs the governor's approval, would apply to goods bought through affiliates of online retailers that take in least $10,000 worth of annual sales in the state.
From a press release:

Illinois would only worsen its budget gap if this became law.

"In other states that have tried this approach, including North Carolina and Rhode Island, large online e-retailers who pay affiliate commissions simply canceled their affiliate programs," said Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice. "The same reaction will undoubtedly happen in Illinois, resulting in no new sales tax for the state. Worse, the lost affiliate commissions would mean that those Illinois small businesses would pay lower state income taxes."
The Tax Foundation slams the "Amazon tax."

Again it's the affiliates, people like me who will be harmed, not so much Amazon. Let me spell it out: If someone clicks on an embedded Amazon link in one of my music video posts for let's say, Richard Thompson, they may decide to buy one of his CDs or an MP3. The purchaser, that is, you, don't pay anything extra. I make a very small commission.I win, as you do you for enriching your life with artistic brilliance. Of course you can just go to Amazon to buy those tunes--and I make nothing. If Governor Patrick Quinn signs the internet tax bill, it will only apply to those affiliates, for instance Marathon Pundit or Backyard Conservative, based in Illinois. But it doesn't change the things for internet shoppers, even if they live in Illinois, if they go to Amazon directly to assauge their Richard Thompson cravings.

It's the little guy getting hurt. Now I have personal evidence that Illinois is hostile to small businesses.

From an e-mail I received this evening from Amazon:
Greetings from the Amazon Associates Program:

We regret to inform you that the Illinois state legislature has passed an unconstitutional tax collection scheme that, if signed by Governor Quinn, would leave little choice but to end its relationships with Illinois-based Associates. You are receiving this email because our records indicate that you are a resident of Illinois. If our records are incorrect, you can manage the details of your Associates account (here).

Please note that this not an immediate termination notice and you are still a valued participant in the Amazon Associates Program. But if the governor signs this bill, we will need to terminate the participation of all Illinois residents in the Associates Program. After that point, we will no longer pay any advertising fees for sales referred to, and nor will we accept new applications for the Associates Program from Illinois residents.

The unfortunate consequences of this legislation on Illinois residents like you were explained to the legislature, including Senate and House leadership, as well as to the governor's staff.

Over a dozen other states have considered essentially identical legislation but have rejected these proposals largely because of the adverse impact on their states' residents.

Governor Quinn's office may be reached here.

We thank you for being part of the Amazon Associates Program, and wish you continued success in the future.

This idea is so hair-brained, it would be something Rod Blagojevich would come up with.

Oh, if you have been meaning to buy something from Amazon, click on one of my Amazon ads. It appears to be a limited time offer.

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Radio Patriot said...

This SUX...

Brandon Connell said...

If this bill passes, bloggers in Illinois will unite to elect someone smarter.

kimsch said...

I got the same email today. Stupid Illinois.

Lilly said...

I rec'd the same email last night and immediately emailed Quinn. What a bunch of idiots!
1. Less money coming into IL.
2. Less income taxes I (we) would be paying.
How is this good???