Friday, January 07, 2011 to Cut Ties With the Citizens of Illinois

Thanks to the boneheaded state government (which is supposed to be in a "lame duck" session), is going to eliminate all of its Amazon Associates who live in Illinois. For those who don't know, the Amazon Associates program is a program that Amazon has that allows people to place links for Amazon on their websites. If someone goes to Amazon through a link on an Associates site and purchases something at Amazon, the Associate gets a small fee (usually one or two cents). Lawmakers in Illinois have voted for a 6.25% tax on online retail purchases. The levy, which still needs the governor's approval, would apply to goods bought through affiliates of online retailers that take in least $10,000 worth of annual sales in the state. To avoid the hassle of dealing with 9,000 affiliates who live in the state Amazon has decided to terminate all Amazon Associate accounts in Illinois. Amazon is just the first company to do so and has announced they will follow suit and several other large online retailers are planning the same.

Here is a copy of the email I received today:

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 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.

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, and 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.




There's a chance that the legislation can be stopped, but only if the governor doesn't sign the legislation. Contact Governor Quinn's office here and ask him not to sign the bill.

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