Should the Internet be Taxed?

Amazon Shuts Down California Affiliates, Following New Tax Law

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Should the Internet be Taxed?
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On Friday, a new California state law goes into effect that will tax Internet sales through affiliate advertising. Rather than pay such taxes, online retailers like Amazon will instead shut down their affiliate programs in the state. For Amazon, that is said to come to 25,000 sites in California alone.

Was this a wise move by the California government? Tell us what you think.

Democrat Governor Jerry Brown has called it a “common sense idea,” according to one report from the LA Times. Though clearly many disagree with that notion, thinking that it will do more harm that good. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has said in the past that the company is protected in the U.S. constitution’s prohibition of state’s interference in interstate commerce:

And in the U.S., the Constitution prohibits states from interfering in interstate commerce. And there was a Supreme Court case decades ago that clarified that businesses — it was mail-order at that time because the Internet did not exist — that mail-order companies could not be required to collect sales tax in states where they didn’t have what’s called “nexus.”

So there’s that, but as my colleague Josh Wolford noted in a recent related article about Texas, more and more states are saying that Amazon affiliates count as physical presences and are enacting sales tax regulations already.

That’s why Amazon has been shutting down affiliate programs. Amazon has told affiliates in the past that they’d have to move to another state to continue earning commissions on referrals. Overstock.com has reportedly done that before too.

It’s worth noting that California’s sales tax rate in general will be dropping to 7.75%. Here is the bill that was signed into law (pdf).

Some groups representing brick and mortars feel the law should be extended on a national level, claiming the taxes take away competitive advantages from Internet retailers that don’t have a physical presence in a particular state. Consumers are able to avoid fees from purchasing from these retailers that they’d otherwise have to pay by buying in-state.

Affiliates have been informed of the termination of their contracts with Amazon. They have received a letter from Amazon saying:

(The bill) 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.

We oppose this bill because it is unconstitutional and counterproductive. It is supported by big-box retailers, most of which are based outside California, that seek to harm the affiliate advertising programs of their competitors. Similar legislation in other states has led to job and income losses, and little, if any, new tax revenue. We deeply regret that we must take this action.

Danny Sullivan, a California resident wrote Bezos an open letter “thanking him” on his personal blog Daggle. It begins:

“Thank you for your letter today, informing me that after seven years of being one of your affiliates — and having earned for you about $150,000 in that time — that you “deeply regret” unilaterally terminating my contract with Amazon to be an affiliate. I also especially appreciated the part where you reassured me that this action wouldn’t affect my ability to keep buying from your company. Nice touch.”

He goes on to add that while he is fortunate enough to have a successful day job, the loss of income will have a far greater impact on many other affiliates. He also makes a good point about how Amazon will continue to get paid from existing affiliate links without the actual affiliates getting paid.

“I’m not sure how many affiliate links I have on the blog,” Sullivan writes. “Not that many, maybe 25 to 50 in all. But until about an hour ago, those links were worth something to you. Now, because of your squabble over the sales tax issue, you’ve decided to just take for free what you’d previously paid for. If I don’t find time to track down and kill those links, you keep grabbing orders that get made through them and keeping the cut I previously received”

“Over the next day or so, you’re going to get a lot of orders this way,” he adds. “Bigger affiliates will eventually move. Plenty of smaller ones won’t be bothered to change. But those small ones that don’t will add up into plenty of money for your company. You, of all companies, really understand how all that long tail stuff can mount up, right?”

Danny makes some fair points, but the fact that the law was passed is likely to drive businesses away from the state, as clearly they will have no choice if they wish to continue relying on Amazon for income.

jjlwils55, commenting on the LA Times report says, “Okay, here’s the answer…start buying products from overseas companies.  In this day of internet technology, this is a job killer and at the end of the day will not raise additional taxes.”

In the same thread, a small business owner says his company was a victim of similar circumstances all the way back in the early 80’s. “We operated out of Pennsylvania until they ‘needed $65 million’ and ‘targeted only 4 industries’ for a ‘new sales and use tax’. Lots of Exemptions only to the connected cronies in Harrisburg (lawyers of course). WE VOTED WITH OUR FEET AND MOVED TO FLORIDA. We moved the Business and Six Families after ‘growing up there’. We are still angry.”

From the sound of it, there are plenty of people getting ready to pick up and move, or at least consider it, as a result of this California law now. But how long before they are greeted with similar issues at their next destination. You can see how the ordeal has been playing out in various states in this map from TheStreet.com:

Amazon State Map

Amazon isn’t the only one the law will affect, by the way – just the biggest.

What do you think? Should states tax online retailers the way California is doing? Should about federal law? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Should the Internet be Taxed?
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  • http://none greg_l_2

    You are missing the point. Amazon’s subsidiaries in CA will force it to collect the tax and not just its affiliates. AMZN currently operates multiple subsidiaries in California, Lab126 their R&D lab in Silicon Valley, IMDB based in LA, and numerous AWS data centers in Northern California. So their claims of not having a physical presence there are untrue, and this law clarifies that a subsidiary counts as a physical presence in addition to affiliates. Even if they drop the affiliates they will still have to collect the tax under the law unless they uproot all of their subsidiaries which will not be that easy. They seem to be dropping the affiliates just in spite, and to try and use whatever leverage they had to attempt to prevent this from passing

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Crum

      Seems like a pretty bold move for spite.

    • http://www.wwpmmedianet.info Jake Leonard

      Just like in Illinois – the claims are untrue. They have physical locations in Rockford and in Fairview Heights. But yet, Illinois affiliates are cut off.

      • Frank

        Amazon said that even though they had a warehouse in Texas, only for shipping, they did not have presence here because their head quartered somewhere else. Warehouse here, shipping to customers here = sales tax here. Yes, i have a internet business, i don’t ship most products from here, sales to Texas get taxed, but should i have to charge tax in another state just because my business ships a product from that state. As always, Congress has sat on their hands while this gets out of control. Should be, if you have presence in state, and ship to that state, charge Tax. All other should be tax free.

  • John Rettie

    I think everyone should be paying sales taxes. It’s unfair that some companies are get away without collecting the tax. The solution is to have a uniform national VAT instead of thousands of different local sales tax rates. We need to move tax collection into the modern era.
    In the meantime I think what Amazon is doing to its affiliates is bad. I am boycotting Amazon until they restore their affiliates.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Rich Ord

      Bad idea. If we give government a VAT then it’s guaranteed to be an added tax on top of all the other taxes. Government never eliminates a tax source.

      In terms of fairness, what’s fair about a business not located in a state collecting sales tax for that state? Per the U.S. Constitution a state cannot regulate people or companies that don’t have physical store fronts in the state.

      • John Rettie

        That was written before the Internet and needs to be updated. VAT replaced sales taxes in the UK back in 1972 and in my view it is a much better taxation system than sales taxes. I agree it cannot be placed on top of another tax.

    • http://www.wwpmmedianet.info Jake Leonard

      We’re taxed enough – we don’t need to pay any more damn taxes (that includes Illinois).

      • William Anfin

        The U.S. is one of the lowest taxed countries in the world. You might think that we are taxed enough but in comparison, we are not.

        Here is a link for you: http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/briefing-book/background/numbers/international.cfm

        Basically, we are a country that wants something for nothing.

        • http://www.bestfreewoodworkingplans.com Jodawg

          I hate to burst your bubble on the link, but that is the country as a whole. When TONS of people in our country pay 0 tax, you add those figures to those who are paying tax. Personally, I am taxed about 46% of my income, 46%!!! And the government thinks that they need more of my money?

          The problem is, we have way too many tax exempt people in our country and our government doesn’t know how to spend money.

  • gene

    a nother bad deal from gov. brown

    • http://www.wwpmmedianet.info Jake Leonard

      And Pat Quinn did it a few months ago in Illinois. It’s an overall bad deal nationwide!

  • http://www.sfpincchicago.com Gregory L. Dennis

    It’s always a fun thing to watch when a politician over-spends (bounces a cheque), how they manage to shift the blame elsewhere. How is it that a politician can bounce cheques and get into debt and there are no consequences to it, but if you or I were to bounce a cheque, there are laws in place that make the writer of aforementioned cheque liable for not only the amount of the cheque, but could also risk imprisonment for it.

    Politicians get paid way too much, considering all the back-room business deals they are involved in and the ROI from them. If you are in debt, let’s start by doing the most common sense thing I can think of: since I’m not getting any ROI, let’s slash your payday to make up for what you did. Let’s start with 10% off the top of any politician making six figures or more. Then keep slashing it by 10% every year following until we make up the shortfall.

  • Kathleane O’Leary

    I’m not political, just trying to earn a living. I’ve spent thousands of hours reviewing Amazon.com books, DVD’s and other products and writing articles geared towards selling these products. This morning I was told that my account with Amazon.com is closed! Not being closed, not pending, just CLOSED!

    Where was my opportunity to weigh in on this, cast my vote, write my Senator, give feedback to Amazon.com … before my income was snatched out from under me? As of today, I’m now out of a job.

    I do like the suggestion to boycott Amazon.com as they did have a choice in this also. It’s not all the big bad government as they’ve portrayed it.

    Meanwhile I’m not going to be watching soap operas and eating bon-bons. I’m going to be working hard to move my blogs to another affiliate program. Watch out Amazon, the CA affiliates you dropped may not be here when/if you want to take us back.

    • http://www.wwpmmedianet.info Jake Leonard

      My Amazon account is still open, but I can’t participate in the Amazon Associates affiliate program anymore because of the BS they did in Illinois.

    • http://www.cpasitesolutions.com/ Kenny

      Look, I agree this was a stupid decision. But you DID get a vote. The Governor is your duly elected representative. Either you voted for him and shouldn’t have, voted against him and lost (in which case you should consider being more active next time), or didn’t vote and got exactly what you deserved.

      You can blame Amazon if you want, but as a businessman I completely sympathize with their position. Perhaps your time would be better spent driving to Oregon or Nevada and getting your affiliate status back. If Cali doesn’t want your income tax give it to someone who does.

  • http://www.jumbocdinvestments.com/ ChrisCD

    The State of CA stands to lose far more in income tax then they would from the sales tax.

    If I save on some purchases by utilizing out of state companies than I have more money to spend on items that must be local: gas, restaurants, groceries, etc.

    It is very short sighted and most politicians who go for the money grab just don’t get it.

  • http://www.JacalynEvone.com JVon

    The only way this will be effective is if the sales tax stretches across all states. The impact to the few states that have implemented this will be harmful to the individual retailers, seriously affecting their ability to make a living, and to the state as a whole. I do think however, Amazon should have filed suit, rather than pull the plug on its vendors. This is a hurtful act to all the people in California who have helped Amazon to make large profits. Instead, Amazon should have been prepared to immediately file suit, attempt to get an injunction, or something, but not harm the people who have supported and earned profits from them. Maybe California vendors should ban together and file a class-action suit against Amazon for hurting their business.

  • http://doneinstyle.com doneinstyle

    It’s wrong for States to expect out of state businesses to collect sales tax for them. An affiliate is simply today’s version of a travelling sales rep, and can’t in any way be construed as indicating a business presence in that state. Now, having said that, if Amazon has warehouses or subsidiary businesses in California, that, IMHO, is a business presence.

    FYI, though it’s easy to use Amazon as an affiliate program, many other outfits pay a whole lot better, especially the specialty outfits. It may be a bit harder to manage multiple affiliate accounts, but overall commissions may, after switchover, bump up. Though there is a downside. I recently had a commission from amazon that had nothing to do with what my site was about, so I imagine if I switch out of amazon I may lose some of those commissions.

    My personal opinion about the State revenue crunch is that they should look at how North Dakota avoided all this heartache. http://www.publicbankinginstitute.org/

  • http://www.cpasitesolutions.com/ Kenny

    I like Jerry Brown. I don’t agree with a lot of his politics, but I actually supported him as a Primary delegate in Vermont back in the day.

    While his politics are often misguided this is the first time I’ve ever seen him do something overtly stupid.

    I hope the rest of the country is paying attention because if they DO follow suit these corporations can, for almost no expense, easily leave the country entirely. There are plenty of webmasters in Singapore, Thailand, and China eager to pick up the slack.

  • Wayne Southworth

    It isn’t the companies paying the taxes, it is us, the consumers that are paying the tax!!
    I am tired of paying taxes to fund politicians elaboate lifestyles!!
    Isn’t this the reason the Boston tea party occurred?
    Governor Brown promised “NO New Taxes without voter approval” I guess he lied!

  • http://www.wwpmmedianet.info Jake Leonard

    It’s another ploy to screw Internet marketers and webmasters from monetizing their websites. I’ve lost ties with Amazon and The Tire Rack because of crooked actions on behalf of Illinois governor Patrick Quinn and his band of crooked Chicago bastards. (And those sites were the bulk of my affiliate sales!)

  • Brian Woeller

    No! This is just another stupid attempt from politicians to take more from the people who are working and paying taxes, to give it to the people who aren’t. Not one entitlement program has been cut or reduced. Instead, the California politicians keep upping the taxes and fees we pay to support them. I would love to see the look on their faces when they realize they have driven all the working, tax paying people out of the state, and are stuck trying to figure out how to pay all the people with their hands out…except I won’t be here. I, like so many of my friends are moving out of California.

    • http://www.wwpmmedianet.info Jake Leonard

      The rich gets richer, while the middle and lower (and small business) classes get raped, plundered and robbed.

  • Ryan Kempf

    I really don’t people see the whole entire picture here that is when people shop online like on Amazon nothing comes back in our local economy and that’s bad because if the local economy is not supported people then it can fail and we don’t want that

  • http://eugeneseo.wordpress.com Max Keele

    Uckfay Ohnay. As a good liberal, I love a new tax as much as I love a double mocha lait. But taxing internet sales is an AWFUL idea. Talk about a collection nightmare! 50 states with different taxes. Some taxing residents who buy anywhere, some taxing anyone who buys from a company based in their state. Counties? Cities? ACK. There goes interstate commerce, down the proverbial tubes.

  • http://www.richardfelstead.com Richard Felstead

    That’s a bad move on the part of California, and one I think Amazon should have opposed more vigorously. I hope it doesn’t start a precedent across America.

  • http://www.seo-theory.com/ Michael Martinez

    The old adage that “truth is the first victim in any war” comes to mind. Just as Bezos and Amazon neglected to concede that they will continue to reap the rewards of building out a huge affiliate network over the past 15+ years, the brick-and-mortar businesses who complain about Internet sales neglect to mention that consumers often pay shipping fees that are usually far greater than the sales tax they would pay on locally purchased items.

    Online retailers hardly have an unfair advantage over brick-and-mortar businesses, except that perhaps they are offering products to consumers who cannot obtain those products at reasonable prices in their local areas.

    • http://www.wwpmmedianet.info Jake Leonard

      I’d rather suffer the consequences of paying $3.95 for shipping and handling for a book than suffer higher costs including sales tax!

  • http://imaterials.com ty_urus@yahoo.com

    giving states more tax revenue is just letting them waste more and more money. they will not increase revenue with this move. it will have the opposite effect. but it should be kept in mind that states cannot control their habits. they are addicts like compulsive gamblers.

  • William Anfin

    I have to side with Amazon – it is not fair that they have to pay taxes in some states and not in others. The politicians are going through a “penny wise, pound foolish” deal by trying to collect sales taxes by using affiliates as a presence in a state – the actual transaction could be happening on a server in Canada for all we know.

    Amazon is not cutting off affiliates for spite – why should they want to pay a state’s sales tax AND affiliate commissions when they have an option (currently) to not pay both? Amazon is not stupid – if their sales tank due to lack of affiliates, they will bite the bullet and bring back the dropped affiliates. No offense to Danny Sullivan but I believe his comments are strictly based on his own self interests – gee, that’s what Amazon is doing so it seems like it is the pot calling the kettle “black”…..

  • http://uniquitypsych.com Reuven E. Epstein

    This is a national problem, and it should be addressed on a national level. There should be a simple national tax rate for online orders. It should apply to all sales to states other than the one in which the business is located. Too many states are losing tax income when it is needed to help them stay solvent. The internet business model has operated long enough to be stable. The sales tax break they had to help them get established is no longer justified. We need a level playing field.

    • http://doneinstyle.com doneinstyle

      Hmm. Mail order business existed long before the internet. There hasn’t ever been a national sales tax and it’s a poor idea to start one now, since sales tax hurts the poor and middle class the most, proportionally. Not only that, but do you really think the dough will end up back in state coffers? I doubt it. It’ll probably go to help pay the 20 billion dollar air conditioning bill incurred by our military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • fountainway

    This is an injustice!!.

  • http://www.musclevalley.com Gary Tucker

    Come on guys, any time you have a democrat in office, either locally or nationally, there will be new taxes, talk of new taxes or an increase in taxes.

    • William Anfin

      Yeah….and Reagan raised taxes 7 times in his 8 years in office. You might want to do some due diligence before blaming Democrats.

  • http://www.techmanage.net Joanne Gucwa

    I am also a former Amazon affiliate, thanks to Illinois law. My bioblog post of March 11 expresses my dismay: http://www.techmanage.net/bioblog/20110311001. To be fair, the next day I posted an “Equal Time” blog, basically a copy of Illinois Governor Quinn’s autoresponse at http://www.techmanage.net/bioblog/20110312001

  • http://chocolatecandyforsale.com Rex

    No, I DO NOT think the Internet should be taxed. If I sit in my home in one state and I make a purchase online (cyberspace) and the order gets placed in another state, how can you say I purchased something in another state that I’ve never actually been to? Furthermore, if you look at the technical aspect of what really happens when we surf the Net, we don’t actually go anywhere; the webpages are downloaded to us. So, when we click to buy, we’re actually making a purchase at our location not the other way around. These states that want to tax online purchases are desperate for tax revenues and will do anything they can to get them. This actually boils down to taxation without representation.

  • Bill Wagner

    We are already taxed to death. We need to cut some of these special perks for the politicians and their business world buddies. Maybe then, we can do some good in the world and fix some of our desperatly failing infrastructure before people are killed while driving accross a bridge that was built 60 years ago while trying to get to work to pay all of those taxes.

  • http://arkanimals.com @TheArkLady

    Since I am not a brick and mortar business this recent change is very annoying on several levels.

    Probably my biggest issue is that it interferes with interstate commerce.

    Next, to my knowledge, this is selective enforcement since most of the commerce being conducted is via mail order and none of the non-internet (aka traditional) mail order companies are being taxed like this.

    Also, I pay taxes on the commissions I make already. Now that Amazon has killed this opportunity (but will still collect from those links already established over the ten years I’ve been an affiliate) California will not benefit–and neither will my business.

    All the way around, this is an irresponsible move that I hope to see challenged in the courts.

  • http://www.dollarcounts.com/ TPJaveton

    Hey Chris,

    Another great topic that I believe should be dealt with in a common-sense way. I have mixed feelings about this issue:

    First of all, our government and certain State governments (like California) have managed to take what was originally a voluntary act (paying taxes) and make it into a legally enforceable requirement. A crime for those who refuse to comply, or “evade” it altogether.

    Second, and more to your question, the online businesses that are making sizable profits and can afford to assist in the support of the government should do so – since Uncle Sam and California seem to be going broke anyway – but I don’t believe small Internet companies and Webrepreneurs should be compelled to pay taxes.

    Third, it seems to me that Amazon.com has chosen to shut down its affiliate programs based more on strong opposition (philosophical disagreement) than the added expense it would incur, because they have the right to send W-9’s to all their affiliates and let them deal with their own tax-payment situation.

    Outside of hiring expensive accountants and tax lawyers to “avoid” tax payments, the expense to Amazon.com should not threaten their Internet operations in the least; But if the company has to hire such professionals to keep its tax liability to a minimum, then the best step may very well be the one being taken.

    What about all the affiliates who relied on the Amazon.com “affiliate program” for their livlihood? I say work it out! Find a way to impress upon the State of California or any other State that tax revenue from Internet business cannot and should not be enforced in the same fashion as a traditional (brick and mortar) business. No criminality attached to an act of refusal to pay. Thanks.

  • Dennis

    Sounds like away for them to miss manage more funds like always!

  • Damon Palame

    How does Amazon determine where the affiliate is physically located? Couldn’t you have a p.o. box or address in a neighboring state with a mail forwarding service? Then you pay income tax on those earnings to the neighboring state? It would take some set up and management, but wouldn’t kill your business. Is that possible?

  • http://www.jiletlitelfiyati.com Jiletli Tel

    Really stupid politicians !!
    on one side they are encouraging stimulus plans and on one side they are trying to put new taxes.Really sincere moves.Congratulations for being so stupid. Can be a friend of Homer Simpson but no Homer is more reasonable and he is a devoted Dad.

    Dad of a son and a businesman

  • Dale

    Well it’s a dumb idea decided by the best and brightest California has to offer. It’s amazing the older I get intelligence doesn’t keep pace but dumbness accelerates. Anyway, wanna tax the internet? Tax ICANN. $100/yr for each name. Why $100? Keeps the riff raff out. Yup put a hefty federal tax on every domain name and distribute it to the appropriate state based on population. It’s more efficient. Cali’s gotta hire “Internet Police”. Think they’ll pat down yer computer? Hee hee… Taxing ICANN may not be legal, but a tax is comin. Only big companies like Amazon, with deep pockets, can fight this. We lil guys are screwed.

  • Diana

    No. Not NO, but Hell No! Leave it alone. We are taxed to death already.

  • dtbronzich

    While I understand the state’s need, in this economy, to generate more revenue, I believe this is not the way to do it. It seems to me to be another anti-business move in an economy that is already bankrupt, and is not the sort of move one expects from a government that has already fallen over the precipice of financial insolvency. How could it generate revenue if it forces business to shut down within the state? This is another recovery killing move by Ivory Tower Elitists with no practical experience in either business or government.

    • joe

      more revenue?! all they need is to cut spending!! and get rid of those redundant programs…

  • Scott

    It may sound fair to charge the same sales tax to someone buying online or in a store. The problem is going to be this: Companies that sell online will move out of state, losing jobs and revenue. Consumers will simply buy from out of state retailers to avoid the California tax. It might be wrong, but its true.


  • Jerry

    At present we have a company located in California. Every quarter we spend the better part of a day determining our tax liability to the 60+ counties throughout the State in addition to the individual district taxes in the respective counties for all internet sales to consumers within California. We collect the minimum tax rate from customers however what we pay definitely exceeds what we collect as we are not able to input the numerous county tax rates in addition to the separate district tax rates. We have considered refusing order fulfillment to California customers because of this. The alternative is to move the company to another state. Not sure what will happen however the new legislation definitely may affect how other online retailers look at consumer transactions from California customers.

    • Frank

      Move and let the fools go completely broke.

  • Frank

    Stupid people keep voting in stupid people to run their government, then wonder why everything has gone to Hell. You have no one to blame for voting in these greedy tax and waste civil servants (leaders as the media calls them) but yourself. Wake up, Wake up, Wake up, how many times must this be said, when will you people wake up and take your country back from these politicians who are controlled by really big business. Geez, you would think everyone would see the light by now!

    • winnergirl

      Very well said. The problem is not the elected people, but we-us who elect them.

      • Steve

        Remember POGO? “We have met the enemy and it is us!”

      • joe

        Agree, but don’t forget a lot of the people out there who still vote have no clue of how business works..then we end up with this…

  • http://www.freedomoffshore.com/offshoreLLCpackage.html Offshore LLC

    Speaking from the freedom of a global perspective, how are you going to tax the Internet when it is not owned by any one country? If you have an offshore LLC (limited liability company) based in a safe island country and you do business from a domain name owned by a safe offshore company and the servers that you do business from are located in a safe offshore country then how in the world is the Internet going to be taxed? The only way it really can be done is to have a dictator presiding over a NEW WORLD ORDER where a taxing elite group can impose its will on everyone across the board because there are no longer any free sovereign nations left to find freedom within. Of course you need to obey the laws of your country and any company operating on the internet should pay taxes lawfully according to the laws of their country. I always encourage people to obey the laws but to set things up if you can for legal tax avoidance (different than evasion) if it exists for your particular situation.

  • http://www.machined-castings.com Al

    I have to wonder if the next step is to have California Affiliates of Amazon.com incorporate in Florida, to host their web sites there, bank there, and “be paid” from there. Can we have a tax attorney comment on this?

  • http://www.escv.com Robert Gardner

    This is the wrong move. But this is what happens when people vote in idiots that have socialist or communist thinking. Business will move out of state and people will buy from those that have moved. Jerry Brown answers to only one body, THE UNIONS!

    Let’s all go to Vegas, its the new LA!

  • http://cleverhousewife.com Emily Lyon

    I am so upset over this new law! I am supporting my family of 6 right now, by blogging! I am putting my husband through Chiropractic school, and helping raise our 4 children, with my coupon and deal website. My soul source of income is from online affiliates like Amazon. Amazon isn’t the only merchant that has cut me off because of this new law.

    T companies they think they’ll earn money from by collecting taxes are just withdrawing and ending our business relationships. This takes my money away, which reduces the amount I’ll be paying state taxes on. This is a lose-lose for everyone, including the state. Instead of collecting more money, they are forcing companies out of business relationships and taking away your source of income which I pay state income tax on.

    Something has to change or many families are going to be put out on the street!

    • Slideri812

      Removing the opportunity for the average person to carve out a living online is a subtle form of slavery, driving you back to the grind of the average employer and having your worth dictated to you.

  • Geo

    Sounds like a great opportunity for me!
    All those US based affiliates getting shut off!
    I am truly sorry for them, however now Amazon can send all the commissions to me here in Europe…
    Bulls Eye!

  • http://www.internationalbikermall.com PJ Chase

    if it was, it’s the first good idea they’ve had in 50 years.

  • http://kaboodleventuresllc.com Christopher Conlan

    “A COMMON SENSE APPROACH” — why would anyone want to pay taxes or continue to fund failed enterprises such as government in the United States?

    Everyone with a website, a business or even a basic grasp upon the concept of Freedom should immediately join a groundswell that must be coming to stick up for individual liberty against institutions with guns and the ability to seize assets.

    This isn’t even funny. And I used to really like Jerry Brown because I though he was a man of the people, although he is an “elite”.

    The powers that be should be removed from power. They are operating on our sweat and toil. It is becoming ridiculously difficult to achieve the Dream when the government makes it impossible with their reckless spending.

    We should all make it a daily occurrence, like waking up and making coffee or going to the bathroom, to besiege our “representatives” and hold accountable our government to do the right thing by those of us that don’t have a government job.

    The Revolution will not be televised, and it is in our hands to make it so and stop the absolute thievery we’ve allowed to happen.

    This is a rant, and I’m not spell checking it, but it’s time to stop these vampires from ruining invention, prosperity and America.

    • andrew

      That was great, not a rant. But how about mentioning Ron Paul as an advocate for reducing government? Rants are fine but we need to solve the problem and present solutions at the ground level and Ron Paul is by far the best thing that can happen to change this terrible path we are on…

  • Louis Torrans

    The government knows only too well who will end up paying any new tax, fee or tariff. It’s the end user/retail buyer. Once the buying public learns this maybe….maybe that is, the next brain fart coming along will be looked at a little stronger.

  • http://www.marvellproducts.com Jerry Lafleur

    Hell no,the internet should not be taxed, its the only thing that keeps companies like walmart and target in check. As long as they know you can get it online they keep their prices low. Take that away and walmart, target and sears starts charging what ever they want. This has nothing to do with fairness for brick and mortars, it has everything to do with taking away the competition. By the way all these companies use the internet to make sales too, anyone can order from them just like amazon but he difference is all about price. If the brick and mortars can’t compete with online retailers then they need to adapt and stop complaining

    • Michael

      Walmart, Target and Sears have brick & mortar locations in every state, which is why you pay tax on any product purchased off their websites. States should not be able to force a business located in another state to collect and pay its tax.

      No taxation without representation.

  • http://oldboystoys.com Bryan

    Over the past few years I’ve started making more of my purchases locally, rather than on the Internet. As a small business owner, I feel compelled to support my fellow small businesses in my community. Too many have gone out of business because of the Internet. A lot of people seem to use local business to do research and get recommendations, just to purchase cheaper online. I wish more people would feel obligated to support their local businesses, and local community, rather than trying to get the cheapest price. As an Amazon Affiliate (kidport.com and oldboystoys.com), I’m personally impacted by this decision. But, I blame Amazon. They are abandoning me. In return, Amazon has lost me as a customer, not just an affiliate.

    • Michael

      You would be what one might call the pot calling the kettle black. As an Amazon affiliate, you are doing the opposite of what you say the rest of us should do.

  • http://kaboodleventuresllc.com Christopher Conlan

    BTW — THEY ALREADY TAX IT — look at your bill from Cox or whoever, they all ready tax the internet!

  • Geo

    Not sure if this went, so here again…

    Bulls Eye!

    And a great opportunity for me to get those commissions sent overseas from the US to me here in Europe.
    Not just for me, also for others all around the world.

    Clever old bureaucrats!

  • http://connieowens.com Connie

    There are companies I purchase from on a regular basis that collect sales tax from me at the CA rate.

    I have been taking my Amazon links down. I do not need them to continue to capitalize off my hard work.

    I do know a few non-profits that have relied on the income, now????

    Amazon is being unfair. But, they have the right.

    Thank you for your info.

  • Michael

    Last I checked Amazon did not have a fulfillment center in CA, so technically Amazon is not doing business there, therefore should not have to collect or pay CA tax.

    This should be a lesson for everyone to always be proactive, even if the issue does not effect you personally. Eventually, those things that don’t effect you now, will.

  • Joseph E O’Brien

    No taxes to access or use the internet should be enacted.

    I a purchase is made on the internet it is appropriate that state sales taxes should be payed, whether or not the vendor has a presence in the state.

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