Thursday, March 10, 2011

Gov. Bonehead Quinn Misdirected PR on Amazon

Do I look like a brick and mortar retail store?

Don't answer that.

But does my blog require police and fire protection?

Earlier this evening I got a notification from Amazon that they were ending their contract relationship with me and other Illinois bloggers. Amazon on my site was a way to earn a bit to defray blogging costs, as well as share some book choices. I like Amazon.

For well over a decade, the Amazon Associates Program has worked with thousands of Illinois residents. Unfortunately, a new state tax law signed by Governor Quinn compels us to terminate this program for Illinois-based participants. It specifically imposes the collection of taxes from consumers on sales by online retailers - including but not limited to those referred by Illinois-based affiliates like you - even if those retailers have no physical presence in the state.

We had opposed this new tax law because it is unconstitutional and counterproductive. It was supported by national retailing chains, most of which are based outside Illinois, 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.

As a result of the new law, contracts with all Illinois affiliates of the Amazon Associates Program will be terminated and those Illinois residents will no longer receive advertising fees for sales referred to,, or Please be assured that all qualifying advertising fees earned prior to April 15, 2011 will be processed and paid in full in accordance with the regular payment schedule. Based on your account closure date of April 15, 2011, any final payments will be paid by July 1, 2011.

You are receiving this email because our records indicate that you are a resident of Illinois. If you are not currently a permanent resident of Illinois, or if you are relocating to another state in the near future, you can manage the details of your Associates accounthere. And if you relocate to another state after April 15, please contact us for reinstatement into the Amazon Associates Program.

To be clear, this development will only impact our ability to continue the Associates Program in Illinois, and will not affect the ability of Illinois residents to purchase online at from Amazon’s retail business.

We have enjoyed working with you and other Illinois-based participants in the Amazon Associates Program and, if this situation is rectified, would very much welcome the opportunity to re-open our Associates Program to Illinois residents.


The Amazon Associates Team

But this email was, from our sorry excuse for a governor, Pat Quinn and his PR shop:
Illinois has chosen e-fairness over special interests and the status quo. Today, Gov. Pat Quinn stood with Main Street by signing into law a bill, HB 3659, that closes the sales-tax loophole exploited by online-only retailers and levels the playing field for all businesses.

Under previous state tax law, online-only retailers simply would not charge sales taxes on purchases, thus leaving the responsibility to consumers. The exploitation of that loophole by online-only retailers like put small businesses and local communities at a severe disadvantage.

The e-fairness law takes effect immediately and will help brick-and-mortar businesses keep and create jobs. Our client, theAlliance for Main Street Fairness, praised Gov. Quinn for his action to promote e-fairness for Main Street businesses. AMSF spokesman Danny Diaz stated:

"In Illinois, small business retailers are the backbone of the state’s economy and are vital components of the community, and they have been operating at a significant disadvantage as online-only retailers have exploited a decades-old loophole to gain an unfair and artificial advantage in the marketplace. By signing HB 3659, Quinn ensures that all businesses will compete on the same playing field, collecting the sales tax at the point of purchase whether they operate on the Internet or in Illinois’ communities."
Any time you hear "fairness" beware. Dems have their hands in your wallets. WSJ story here.

Gov. Quinn, you may not have Blago's hair but you have some of the same issues. Not surprisingly, as you were on his team for two terms. Check out the comments from Illinois.

Another reason to leave the state. Have computer, will travel.

...On every border of this state there are better governors.

Today at 6:42 pm

This is terrible. My income will be significantly reduced due to this new law. I have already received a termination notice from Amazon. The irony is that the signing of this bill kills job growth in the very industry that Quinn wishes to grow with his newly created Illinois Innovation Council ( Thank you Governor, for ruining my online affiliate business that I’ve spent years building. Talk about “fairness”. :(

Another press release. Another day in Dem Illinois.

Chicago's population is back to what it was in 1920 as people flee this broke state.


John Ruberry said...

If we were members of a public-sector union, this would not have happened to us, Anne.

Anne said...

You made me laugh, John.

No fair! :)

Frankns said...

Catch phrases like "siding with Main Street" are almost always a sign of shoddy thinking. Quinn has no facts at hand, so he makes this into a case of good vs evil: Main Street good - Business Bad. Really: Quinn good - Business bad.

Thanks Anne for the specifics of what this means for you and others. We can see what the law will really mean.

Bet the malls across the state line see more business too ...

Anne said...

Good to hear from you.

Shoddy thinking. That describes Quinn to a T

Suzanne said...

Speaking of shoddy thinking - the sales tax has nothing to do with "brick and mortar retail" or whether you "require police and fire protection". The sales tax is a consumer tax and every time someone buys from an on-line retailer without paying their sales tax - they are breaking the law. You may say that you shouldn't be required to help the state collect a tax, but the other retailers have to do it and if you have employees you help the state collect other taxes with every payroll. The built in discount from avoiding sales tax is a dishonest business model for the retailer and consumer alike.

Anne said...

What is the point of this state tax, hmm?

To pay piggy union pensions, presumably.

Just to clarify, I have no employees.

I am in favor of no sales tax for the corrupt state of Illinois.

A lot of the brick and mortar retailers have online sales as well. It's their choice and their customers' choice whether they want to the convenience of a store or online.

What is the cost to the state of Illinois of my blog? I already pay plenty for living here as an individual taxpayer