Amazon pulls out of Arkansas following online sales tax legislation

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.

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7 Responses to Amazon pulls out of Arkansas following online sales tax legislation

  1. Ana Nimmus says:

    Were there any local affiliates? (Not the bokstore, I’m pretty sure.)

  2. Admin says:

    I’m doing some checking into this right now.

  3. The lone reader says:

    The affiliates they are talking about are people that live in Arkansas and have a website and then link to Amazon in return for a vanishingly small commission.

  4. Admin says:

    Which is now down to zilch for the small businesses using Amazon to get their products out online. Big businesses have to profit as well, but I hate seeing that happen to the detriment of the mass of small businesses.

    Ana, no word yet from the Chamber if anyone in El Dorado is an Amazon affiliate and there’s no way to check the affiliate website for a list due to privacy rules. Stay tuned — if a Chamber staffer knows the answer I’ll be sure to update the original blog post.

  5. Ken Hamilton says:

    More meddling by government…more bad results.

  6. Pingback: Lobbying group throws accusations at Amazon | Between Editions

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