Amazon Kills Affiliate Program In Rhode Island

Fears proposed tax law

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Amazon.com has killed another affiliates program due to proposed legislation that would force the company to collect and pay sales tax in Rhode Island.

The move comes less than a week after Amazon notified its affiliates in North Carolina it would be ending its program there due to similar proposed legislation.

The affiliates are members of a program called Amazon Associates, which allows them to place ads for Amazon items on their websites. Users can click through to Amazon’s site, and each affiliate receives money if a purchase is made.

Sucharita Mulpuru
Sucharita Mulpuru

Rhode Island affiliate Rick Wilson posted Amazon’s termination email on his blog.

"We are writing from the Amazon Associates Program to notify you that your Associates account has been closed as of June 29, 2009. This is a direct result of the unconstitutional tax collection scheme passed by the Rhode Island General Assembly with a veto-proof majority."

"As a result, we will no longer pay any referral fees for customers referred to Amazon.com or Endless.com after June 29. We were forced to take this unfortunate action in anticipation of actual enactment because of uncertainties surrounding the legislation’s effective date. The governor could sign the bill – or have his veto overridden – any day now."

The email goes on to say, "In the even that Rhode Island repeals this tax collection scheme, we would certainly be happy to re-open our Associates program to Rhode Island residents."

Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru estimated that 10 percent of Amazon’s sales could come from its associates, but the move to pull out of Rhode Island was unlikely to significantly impact the company’s bottom line.

"It couldn’t have been such a materially significant part of their revenue in the first place, that’s what it comes down to," she told Reuters. "Affiliates are nice to have but by no stretch of the imagination are they going to make or break Amazon’s Web site."

Other states considering similar tax laws include California, Connecticut and Hawaii.



Amazon Kills Affiliate Program In Rhode Island
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  • http://www.iblbuilder.com IBL Builder

    Another example of the autonomous law making authorities in the USA causing chaos through madness. The sooner you Americans have a national lawmaking system and stop all this State-made madness the better for you all.

    • Stupidscript

      The American Republic model is structured so that States may act as experimental governance micro-societies, allowing Americans to freely move to a state whose laws and regulations most closely match their own principles, while remaining under the Federal Governance umbrella. There ARE Federal laws, which apply to all States, and there are also more refined State laws which only apply to people who choose to live in those states. Forcing everyone to endure top-down Federal mandates for every little thing is inefficient and not representative of the populace as a whole. If we were to revert to Merrye Olde Englande’s monarchy-plus-Parliament model, we would lose a great deal of freedom, which is what makes America good for Americans. If we want England’s system, we can just move to England.

  • http://www.atlantadentalcenter.com Dentist Atlanta

    Wow, this is crazy. I hope that don’t do that in my state :(

  • http://teebay.us/ Joe

    it’s really unfair

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