Thursday, January 6, 2011

Don't Buy Into Amazon's Political Scam! Termination of Amazon Affiliates Program

If you are part of Amazon's Associates Program, you might have received the following e-mail recently:
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 Amazon.com 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 amazon.com, endless.com and smallparts.com 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.
Sincerely,
Amazon.com
Now, what's really happening is the following. The state of Illinois (where I happen to live) is broke. Governor Quinn is trying to cover our enormous budget deficits through measures he had announced in his election campaign. One of such measures is removing the unfair advantage on-line retailers have over other sellers and making them pay sales tax, just like everybody else:

Illinois lawmakers have passed what's been dubbed the "Amazon tax." It's not a new tax; it's just a way to collect money that's already due the state. The legislation forces online retailers like Amazon and overstock.com to collect the state's six and a quarter percent sales tax on purchases. Smaller businesses support the measure, saying online retailers who don't collect the state sales have an advantage over them. The legislation now goes to the Governor's desk for approval.
Here is more on this new tax and how it's supposed to work:
The law would require Internet retailers that sell through affiliates in Illinois, and which sell at least $10,000 each year to Illinois residents, to collect the taxes, says a spokesman for state Senate president John Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat backing the bill. “The bill treats online merchants more like bricks-and-mortar merchants,” the spokesman says. “The retailer would be responsible for collecting the tax.” He notes that the bill covers only online retailers that have affiliates in Illinois in an effort to satisfy a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that says only web merchants that have a presence within a given state must collect taxes there. The spokesman could give no estimate about how much Illinois might collect from such a tax, but, previously, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Revenue told Internet Retailer the state could recoup $150 million annually from the use tax.


Now the Amazon is trying to manipulate members of its Associates program to apply political pressure on the Governor. The company doesn't give a rat's ass whether this state goes completely bankrupt, whether its schools close and the roads crumble down. Amazon doesn't believe that it has to pay taxes just like everybody else. Let's not let this company manipulate us into undermining our own state! In the 1,5 years that I have lived in Illinois, I have come to love this great state. I want to see it prosper and flourish. And if Amazon doesn't care about the residents of this state, we should.

I am a member of Amazon Associates program. Obviously, I don't want to be denied access to the program. However, I realize that there are more important things at stake here. I will be writing a letter to Governor Quinn today, urging him to pass this legislation and expressing my support for his efforts to cover the deficit through these practical measures. Friends, don't let Amazon manipulate you! The citizens of Illinois have spoken and elected Governor Quinn. Now we should let him do his job. And Amazon can go kill itself against a wall, as we say in my culture. If they want to lose all the profit its Illinois Associates bring them just because they are too greedy to pay a sales tax, so be it.

46 comments:

Pagan Topologist said...

This makes me glad once again that I live in a state with no sales' tax. Our income tax is so much fairer.

Kyle said...

Clarissa, stumbled on your blog from a google search.

Must say I respect your opinion of our corrupt government and Amazon specifically.

As a fellow Illinois resident, of course I hate that we'll be bankrupt soon.

However, your argument makes little sense. If the bill passes, all will happen is Amazon cuts off the Affiliates program (like other companies have done in other states) and then Illinois still won't collect the tax. So it's lose/lose/lose. Illinois gets no tax. Affiliates like you and I get no money. Amazon gets less sales from referrals.

So all this bill did then was waste a lot of government time when they could've been focused on other stuff.

leo said...

Here it is, we're going broke and we're allowing special exemptions to online retailers that undermine our brick and mortar shops here at home?

This is insane. Enough with this fake, unfair advantage.

Lucas said...

Gotta agree with Kyle on this one. How will Illinois collect a tax on affiliates when their program accounts have been terminated? This will only hurt small affiliate marketers, not Amazon.

I also think Illinois being broke has very little to do with affiliate program taxation and very much to do with a long run of incompetence and corruption.

Cezar said...

To Kyle et al.

I don't believe for one second that Amazon will cut off the affiliates program in Illinois. They would be foregoing all the profit from the affiliate referrals in the state with the third largest city in the U.S. To me, this is just obvious posturing by Amazon to avoid losing money. While I respect that position, this is a dirty tactic to go about it.

I do believe you should collect sales tax on a sale to a resident in a state, whether your building is there or not.

It's an unfair advantage that if I have a building in IL I have to collect tax for that population, even if selling online, but if I put it in Delaware, all the sudden I'm Scott free. All this encourages is using one state or another as a tax haven.

Jason said...

As a lifelong Illinois resident of 26 years and counting, I also want to see Illinois rebound from our economic problems. It would also be nice if we were able to stop being the laughing stock of the US (thanks for shielding us, California).

Unfortunately, the Amazon Tax is not the heaven-sent solution politicians are looking for in order to generate revenue. Amazon will simply cut off its affiliate program to Illinois residents. This means they won't have to collect taxes and send them to Illinois because they don't have affiliate members based in Illinois. It will also mean less money brought into Illinois for these affiliates that eventually gets spent or invested in Illinois.

My Amazon Affiliate funds pay for my hosting from an Illinois-based hosting company (WiredTree). Any extra lands in my savings account with an Illinois-based bank and usually finds it way to being spent at a brick & mortar store or restaurant in hometown, Illinois.

Illinois just doesn't want to make hard decisions. It either needs to increase its taxes or decrease its spending, or even both. So far it has done neither. Guess what? The budget was due July 1st. We were told it would have to wait until after the November elections because nobody wanted to make an unpopular decision. Guess what? It's January! Still no budget. The state wants to solve its problems? How about instead of passing tax laws that have historically proven to generate zero new revenue or even cost revenue, that we pass a budget and try to color within the lines!

Anonymous said...

"I don't believe for one second that Amazon will cut off the affiliates program in Illinois."

This is not a bluff by Amazon. The company terminated its affiliates in Rhode Island and North Carolina after they passed a nexus tax. They also terminated their affiliates in Colorado after a "big brother" tax was passed.

Those states have not seen more income as a result. There are thousands and thousands of taxing districts in the US. Keeping up with them all is what the supreme court deemed to be an unfair burden in the Quill case.

The tax is technically owed as a use tax but going after Amazon will be a fruitless effort.

Moreover, affiliate marketing is a form of advertising, which is exactly what is protected under Quill. Unfortunately, no courts have yet made this ruling.

Finally, it's worth remembering that online retail sales account for less than 10% of all sales and that many online retailers already charge a tax. Relative to the state budget, it simply isn't that much money.

Clarissa said...

A budget is a great thing but how exactly does that solve the problem of such a humongous deficit? Future deficit is solved with a budget, but not a current one. The state is in desperate need of actual money. Otherwise, we will see schools close, people lose jobs and put on furloughs.

SIU Carbondale already sent its professors into furlough. Does anybody think it's fair not to pay people for the job they have done? What is this, the Soviet Union?

And the excuse that Amazon will not pay taxes anyways is baffling to me. Let's not pass any legislation if that's our attitude. Oh, it's not gonna work anyways.

Rules For Rebels said...

We already pay enough taxes, any more money that is taken from citizens will just be wasted anyway.

As for those who say Amazon won't drop Illinois affiliate members, your totally wrong because they have already dropped Colorado affiliate program users and I believe North Carolina & Rhode Island as well.

Amazon has name recognition and the trust of the public now, they don't need affiliates. Whatever business Illinois affiliates bring in is not worth dealing with the bureocracy nor the headache it woudl be transitioning the program so that they can record and pay taxes.

If this passes Amazon will drop Illinois affiliates, no taxes will be collected and Governor Quinn has taken away income from those who rely on Amazon as a source of income.

Grant it not all those affected make their sole income off amazon lots of people dont have enough traffic and just make beer money but this is another example of over reaching government.

Clarissa said...

Oh, sweet Jesus on the cross, I so hope that this post doesn't end up attracting crowds of weirdo Tea Partiers. It is so not my goal in life to offer them a place to spout crazy stuff.

For the veteran readers of the blog: not to tout my own horn here, but did anybody notice that I was the first person to break this story? When I was writing about it there was nothing that Google returned after a search on this subject. Now, of course, everybody has picked it up.

So just remember: you heard it here first.

I always wanted to have a chance to say this phrase. :-) :-)

Clarissa said...

"this is another example of over reaching government. "

-This itching desire to blame the big bad government for everything coupled with an incapacity to see any wrongdoing done by a corporation, what is it? Parental issues? Belated teenage rebellion against the father figure? Raging childish immaturity?

Anonymous said...

"The citizens of Illinois have spoken and elected Governor Quinn."

Screw that! He was elected by a mere 50.5%.

A budget will slash spending on unneeded bloat and get Illinois down to its necessities. The same thing you'd do if your household was in the same situation. With a managed budget, a surplus could even be developed. This will handle the "deficit now" issue.

An independent topic is the proposal of raising the income tax from 3% to 5.25%. That is the way to cover the deficit. Instead of instating an "Amazon Tax", the state would be better off with policies that encourage both brick & mortar and online businesses to build in Illinois.

I've already been subject to furlough days because Illinois can't get its act together.

Clarissa said...

This is a very weird discussion. Are you disputing that Quinn was elected Governor? I hope not because that would be very strange. I, for one, am happy that the people of Illinois didn't vote for the criminal buffoon who ran against Quinn.

Another extremely weird thing is comparing a state budget with a household budget. There are NO SIMILARITIES between how these two completely different entities work. The only people who have the requisite ignorance to compare them are Tea Partiers. You need to stop listening to them, my friend. They are kind of a huge joke that the whole world is laughing at.

Once again: a budget doesn't do anything for such a humongous deficit. Building businesses is good and all but who has a decade to sit around and wait for that to work? The deficit is here right now.

Anonymous said...

The state's proposed action will harm small businesses in Illinois by depriving them of advertising dollars. You might or might not personally make significant income from Amazon but others do. It is unfair to them that they be deprived of such income from Amazon and other out of state retailers.

You seem to regard Amazon as the bad guy but it is simply a company making a business decision - that severing relationships with affiliates is less costly than collecting and remitting the sales tax.

Anonymous said...

"Another extremely weird thing is comparing a state budget with a household budget. There are NO SIMILARITIES between how these two completely different entities work."

Even with all my lefty friends this has got to be one of the strangest assertions I have ever heard. While a state budget is vastly more complex than a typical household budget, the fundamentals of debit and credit are the same. Within a given time frame there are inflows and outflows. These budgets can be described using the same nomenclature.

If you don't understand this you aren't qualified to say much anything about budgets.

Clarissa said...

"You might or might not personally make significant income from Amazon but others do. It is unfair to them that they be deprived of such income from Amazon and other out of state retailers."

-Can you please tell me who is going to drop these people as affiliates? The government? Who will deprive them of income? Huh? Is anybody forcing Amazon to drop them? Everybody manages to collect and pay taxes. Why is the burden so impossible to shoulder for Amazon? You know why? Because they think they are better than anybody else.

Big companies in this country have been spoiled like small children by endless governmental handouts, gifts, suspension of rules, etc. For a long time now, the US economy has worked exactly like it did in the Soviet Union.

Amazon and Co don't want to follow the rules that you and I follow. Why are you defending them? Why are you on their side?

Amazon is definitely the bad guy here. I am appalled by their attempts to manipulate me politically. Their actions are disgusting.

Cezar said...

Rhode Island and Colorado are not Illinois. Illinois has Chicago and many business interests and thus a lot of money for Amazon.

Clarissa said...

I hope you are right, Cezar. I think Amazon is acting kind of desperate with this mass emailing of Illinois affiliates. The entire email sounds a little hysterical to me.

Cezar said...

Someone's political beliefs are very much influenced by their peers. I was once very Libertarian. I did independent study in Libertarian Philosophy. I'm no longer of that persuasion because I learned that that it's fundamental fallacy is that all people are logical actors, they are not.

What I have learned though, is if you only read right-leaning news sources, then you will think that business can do no wrong and government can do no right. If you only read left-leaning sources, then government can do no wrong and business can do no right.

It is much more complicated then that, it's not black and white and idealism is just that, idealism. I've found that a corrupt and greedy culture will result in a corrupt and greedy government and business sector. Work to change the culture.

Clarissa said...

Your words are golden, Cezar. I couldn't agree more.

Anonymous said...

"Amazon and Co don't want to follow the rules that you and I follow. Why are you defending them? Why are you on their side?"

I am an affiliate marketer. This will cause an economic disruption which will harm me indirectly. This threatens my business.

In 1992 the Supreme Court basically ruled that advertising does not constitute nexus. Affiliate marketing is a form of advertising. But because it can be misrepresented as a type of agency, someone in New York (I blame Spitzer's office) got the bright idea to claim affiliates were nexus.

Since then the pattern has been clear. Pass the nexus tax and Amazon and other out of state retailers will sever their relationships. Why? Because their affiliate programs are incremental revenue channels that aren't worth the hassle of collecting and remitting the tax (and yes, there is a hard cost involved). Like any other business or person, Amazon is going to act in it's own self interest.

Now it's worth noting that Amazon can STILL advertise on many of these sites. How? By paying for the advertisements differently. Google Ad Sense, for example, hasn't yet been deemed "nexus" but not all affiliate sites can make the same income off Ad Sense or even want to use it.

Thus, this legislation shuts off what is a significant source of income. This is wrong.

Anonymous said...

"Big companies in this country have been spoiled like small children by endless governmental handouts, gifts, suspension of rules, etc."

Side note - I happen to agree with your condemnation of corporate welfare. But as someone who seems like a pretty strong left wing partisan, you should consider that your support for larger government will help create a monster that you can't control. Large corporations will, indeed, feed from the trough. It's wrong to be sure but it's also inevitable.

Clarissa said...

I fail to see where I support a larger government. I am strongly anti-Republican and the Republicans are the ones who want to legislate every breath we take from birth to death (abortion, death penalty, the Patriot Act, the bailouts, etc.) All I want from the government is that it do its most basic job. One thing would be to get paid on time for the job I'm doing as an employee of a public university. For now, my university is failing to live up to its contractual obligations with me. The only reason is the budgetary disaster. It isn't advocating for larger government to expect that, I think.

Anonymous said...

Other than my years in college, a year out west, a few summers abroad, I'm a lifelong citizen of Illinois. This new tax will do nothing to abate the deficit in the state of Illinois and instead will drive businesses away from the state. With all the arcane rules and unfair tax burdens, businesses have been flocking out of the state for the past 10 years or so (it started during George Ryan's term). New regulations and tax grabs such as this will only further hamper any innovation and economic growth in the state.

One of the reasons our state is in such a shambles is because of the nanny state that is the City of Chicago. South of I-80, the Illinois citizenry wishes Chicago would succeed from Illinois and form it's own state.

Clarissa said...

So if you take Chicago out of Illinois, what will be left that's of any interest to any one? I live in Southern Illinois and, honestly, it's the most boring place you can imagine.

Chicago, though, is so great it can redeem anything.

God, I miss Chicago.

Rebecca Madigan said...

Hi,
My name is Rebecca Madigan, I'm executive director of the Performance Marketing Association, a non-profit group representing affiliate marketing. We've been fighting this 'affiliate nexus tax' issue in dozens of states. It is a complex issue, and I wanted to provide a bit of clarification. I'm not a lawyer or tax law expert, but I've learned a lot as we spearhead grassroots campaigns around the country.

A couple points about sales tax law. Sales tax is actually owed by the consumer, and must by collected only by businesses that have a physical presence in the state (aka 'nexus'). A state cannot require a business with no physical presence to collect its sales tax. This is protected by the US Constitution, the Commerce Clause, and was battled out, as someone mentioned, in the famous Quill case.

The reason is simple: why should a business or consumer outside the state be collecting or paying sales tax for another state, when they get no benefits from the state? They don't use schools or public services.

In reality, if you buy something form an out-of-state business, you as a consumer and resident of Illinois actually owe the sales tax to Illinois(it's called use tax if the purchaser pays it directly to the state). Most people don't know that and don't pay it. So IL (and other states) are trying to get online retailers to collect. But its unconstitutional.

It's also expensive for out-of-state retailers to figure out (and I"m not talking about Amazon, I'm talking about the thousands of small online retailers). There are over 10,000 sales tax rates, based on each consumer's city, county and state. Clarissa, I'm guessing your sales tax rate is different that someone in downtown Chicago, or Lake county or...etc.

Aside from the constitutionality, this law is completely futile. If the state is saying affiliates establish nexus for out-of-state retailers, then the obvious business choice for retailers is to terminate IL affiliates. Remember, it's the Internet, so IL consumers can still see affiliate ads, but they're on sites owned by affiliates in other states. The size of the consumer market in IL doesn't matter.

Yes, there does need to be a way for each state to collect sales tax from internet sales. No one opposes that, actually, not even Amazon. But a federal mandate needs to happen, which makes it equitable for everyone. There are some initiatives (Streamlined Sales Tax, for one), but those will take a while.

This situation in IL was completely unprecedented, by the way. There was no hearing or opportunity for people to express to legislators their concerns/position. This was a pure political play. Rumor has it, this was a concession to Walgreens, who lost Medicare reimbursement amounts. Lots of big box retailers are pushing for Internet sales tax collection so they're not underpriced. They actually want a federal solution, so they put forth affiliate nexus tax to stir up debate, to help get attention on the issue.

I spoke with Amazon and Overstock prior to them sending their termination letters. It's a very painful thing to do, but it is very real and sent a message to the governor that this is real, not a threat. It is always a last-ditch option, and other retailers will follow suit (a few hundred most likely). Amazon and Overstock are both fighting this in the courts in New York, but it will be years before that's settled.

We have one last shot, which is governor veto. The PMA coordinates grassroots responses, and we're waiting on more information about the governor's thinking on this. The argument that has beaten this back in over a dozen states is the detrimental impact on affiliates and small businesses in the state. If you are an affiliate marketer, follow our blog for more information:

http://www.performancemarketingassociation.com/blog2/

Or email me at: rebeccaATperformancemarketingassociation.com

I'm happy to speak to anyone about this.

Clarissa said...

I am shocked at the gall of a person who comes here to inform us, ignoramuses (who have probably published more tan she has ever read) of what the sales tax is. That is the same person who posts the same comment SIX TIMES because she doesn't have the requisite intelligence to read a simple statement like "Your comment will appear after the blog owner's approval."

This is the same person who thinks that people should just post her advertisement for free. And until they do, she will inundate their mailboxes with the same endless comment repeated ad nauseam.

These corporate lackeys are amazing in their sheer shamelessness. Go lobby for federal mandate (which is obviously not going to happen in the next several years), you unintelligent lackey. And stop inundating my blog with garbage.

Rick said...

What's going to happen is that IL affiliates will form an LLC in a state with no sales tax. It's not that hard and the end result is that IL loses. I am already looking into doing it just in case Quinn is stupid enough to pass the bill.

Not to mention other states have already rejected bill that try and tax people to death.

Rebecca Madigan said...

Clarissa,

Your blog gave me errors, saying my post was too long. So I broke it up into 3 sections and reposted. I wanted to provide information that addressed several of the erroneous comments.

Sorry it gave you the impression that I'm not capable or have the affiliate community in mind as we fight this legislation. That is, in fact, not the case.

But thank you for posting my comments despite your disagreements.

Clarissa said...

I would really like to raise the level of discourse above the whole petulant "taxing everybody to death" whining. What are you, four? Serious issues have been enumerated. There is a budget deficit of humongous proportions, in case you haven't heard. Any suggestions on how to handle that? Intelligent suggestions, I mean. If that's even possible with you Tea Party people.

Clarissa said...

The craziest thing is that none of these people, not a single one of those who received an email from Amazon saying that Amazon is going to drop them (not Quinn, Amazon) is even questioning why Amazon needs to drop them as affiliates. You people are all so chicken, it's incredible. Do you have an ounce of self-esteem? This company doesn't respect you as an associate, this company thinks you are expendable, this company treats you like a stupid piece of shit. And all you an do is compete over who kisses Amazon's ass better.

Rick said...

Nice insults. It speaks well of you.

It's pretty simple really. If you don't want to be in debt pass a budget and stick with it. It's astounding how well it works. I've even applied the concept to my personal life and guess what...no debt.

Cut out unneeded spending. There are a million things that could be cut. Nothing like that will be done because it would harm the elected officials job security.

As far as "taxed to death", what would you call it if a tax puts a business under? I call it the death of a business. And, yes, this will kill many small Amazon affiliates who don't know enough to move their business to another state. If Quinn passes the law it will happen and IL will not get any tax revenue from Amazon. Just look at places it has already happened for proof.

Clarissa said...

Once again: a budget does not solve the issue of an existing huge deficit. Let's say you already had a debt of 2 million dollars while making 60K per year. How would a budget solve that issue?

I would also like a "million things that can be cut".

Do read th entire discussion before answering further. It has already been mentioned that Illinois is defaulting on the salaries to its college professors. People aren't getting paid for the job they have already done. Right now. Are their salaries one of those things you want to cut?

Clarissa said...

I think the prblem is that people simply have no idea what a budget deficit is, so a small explanation is in order.

Illinois owes a lot of money. A huge amount of money is owed. Already. By Illinois. As all debts, this debt is growing even as I write.

Now, for those who are enamored of the inane "balancing the state budget is just like balancing a household budget": if your household owes, let's say, 5million bucks and the debt is growing while your household income remains at 60k per year. Would making a budget and cutting the cable and Internet help pay off that debt? Seriously?

Now, a question for everybody: what would be the only way to handle such a situation realistically? Whowever answers first, wins.

Stop listening to your Tea Party leaders, they are all fools. Just think for a second.

Gosh, with this level of economic savvy I'm not surprised these people got themselves into the mortgage crisis. 'Oh, I'll just make a budget and pay off this humongous mortgage that is completely beyond my means," they kept telling themselves. And not even the meltdown taught them any better.

Rick said...

I was going to type more on the budget and deficit but there really isn't a point. We won't agree.

The bottom line is that regardless of whether or not this bill goes through, there will not be any additional tax revenue from it. So what exactly is the point? To drive more business away from IL? To drive more jobs away? How does this help the state? How does this help pay off the deficit?

If Quinn doesn't kill the bill, any money I earn from Amazon will be from a state other than IL.

Clarissa said...

Just answer the question I asked and you will understand exactly why this legislation is trying to achieve and what other kinds of legislation we should expect:

Your household owes, let's say, 5 million bucks and the debt is growing while your household income remains at 60k per year. What would be the only way to handle such a situation realistically?

As to the dire predictions of how this is not going to work, this remains to be seen. But somebody needs to start doing something other than cluck helplessly about the need for a budget.

Rick said...

Good example Clarissa. It illuminates the fact that the state government grossly overspent and mismanaged the funds they have coming in. Now they need to correct what they did. And in their continuing incompetence they are reaching for a source of income that will disappear before they can close their greedy little fingers on it.

Rick said...

Ok, I'll answer. If my household owed $5 mil and I made $60k I'd file for bankruptcy. I wouldn't bother paying it off. That's what the bankruptcy laws were put there for. The people I owed would just have to eat the cost.

Clarissa said...

Yes, somebody messed up, agreed. That's a bad thing to happen, horrible incompetents let us down. As mich as I enjoyed writing this, it did not diminish the deficit by a single cent.

OK, now. How would you suggest this problem be handled on a practical level? What should be done?

Does anybody have an answer?

Clarissa said...

OK, giving up altogether would be a fun thing to do for a state as big as Illinois.

There is another solution to such problems, though: you should try to look for alternative sources of income. Can't live within your means, try making more. Need a lot more? Try making a lot more.

That's what Quinn is trying to do here. And he might fail, too. But making an effort is better than thrwing in the towel at the get-go.

NancyP said...

Exactly what is the big deal about paying sales tax on items ordered from out of state? Don't give me the whine "but there are thousands of sales tax rates" - a retail giant like Amazon can pay an assistant to do some calling and program a national look-up table in the Amazon servers. Every other retailer does this. Missouri tax code requires individual buyers to report larger purchases (aggregate dollar amount) of items ordered online which haven't had state tax levied - this is an item on the state income tax.

Do some associates make more than the cost of their ISP bandwidth fee?

word verification, appropriate for this heated discussion:

vilifi

Clarissa said...

Finally a voice of reason in the discussion. Why isn't anybody questioning Amazon's reluctance to pay the sales tax? Why is the company so opposed to this that it's willing to dump the associates and lose the income?

THis is what we should be talking about instead of the childish "budget good, government bad."

Anonymous said...

Clariss, you said: "Stop listening to your Tea Party leaders, they are all fools."

I beg to differ, the Tea Party people make a lot more sense than you libs. The problem is Illinois is spending more than it takes in, simple solution is to spend less.

I don't live in Illinois and wouldn't if they gave me the place. When will you wake up and realize the Chicago way doesn't work?
Don in Ohio

Clarissa said...

I asked this before but you probably weren't around, Don. Say, you make $60,000 per year and have a debt that is $50,000,000. Would spending less help you repay this debt any time soon?

Cutting spending does not resolve the issue of such a huge deficit like the one we have here. This is Economics 101.

Anonymous said...

Yes I do know some accounting. Did you really mean $60 thousand and $50 million? That's obsurd! I bet Illinois is still taking in Billions and still spending Billions, just the spending is more than the incoming amount.
I'm sure an auditor could find thousands of ways to spend less and maybe even take in a little more. I'm sick and tired of the tax and spend plan. A serious question, how did this "Amazon tax" thing get resolved?
Thanks,
Don in Ohio

Clarissa said...

It's not about what gets taken in and spent at this point. There is a 15 billion deficit in our state. It already happened, it exists. So it needs to be dealt with.

And yes, things got MUCH better after Governor Quinn's measures. For example, the state is now paying what it owes to our university on time and with no problems. Amazon retaliated by shutting down Associates' accounts, mine included. Which I don't care about because now my paycheck is safe.

But of course if you have a better plan, you should definitely run for governor.