Threats and then promises by Amazon that it would pull its affiliate program from Arkansas should the state enact an online sales tax edict may have come to fruition.
Passing an online sales tax was not meant to drive international corporations out of the state, but instead to help close an impending budgetary gap hanging over Gov. Beebe’s head (and we all know how the governor feels about debt of any kind). Unintended consequences I suppose.
Max Brantley posts a letter received by Amazon affiliates in Arkansas, though no official word has come down through the grapevine from the company itself.
Amazon writes: “We opposed this new tax law because it is unconstitutional and counterproductive. It was supported by big-box retailers 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 its enactment forces this action. The unfortunate consequences of this legislation on Arkansas residents like you were explained to the legislature, including Senate and House leadership, as well as to the Governor’s staff.”
Amazon goes on to explain that the inevitable loss of jobs and income has forced it to close the affiliate program for Arkansas retailers as of July 24.