Amazon: now without Illinois affiliates

Posted by & filed under Politics, Technology.

And the attempt to force collection of local taxes goes on. Today’s example — Illinois. Governor has finally signed the law that expands nexus of presence of online stores to affiliates, which means as soon as company has a link affiliate in the state, it has to start collecting local sales tax.

This is no different than a few other states, that also tried the same tactics. So far Amazon collects sales tax in Kansas, Kentucky, New York (attempt to challenge their laws so far failed), North Dakota and Washington. But I guess amount of orders in Illinois can’t be compared to New York, so affiliates got axed.

The most interesting aspect of this little tempest is that Illinois is a home for the site, which simply said that unless something is done they will move to Indiana. I hope they will make good on their promise.

While I understand state’s local budget woes (spend as much as you can, try to raise taxes and fees later) I don’t think it’s “fair” for online stores to be forced to collect local taxes, no matter what local shops say. Because local resources (police, roads, electricity, whatnot) are not used by online sellers (situation where there is a warehouse is, of course, different, and that’s why Amazon is closing distribution center in Texas).

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