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11 March 2010

Colorado Amazon Affiliates

By Diana Hsieh

I've been frantically busy this week with attempting to undo some major tax damage done by Colorado's Democratic legislature and governor. This post is off-topic for CSG, but the issue is too important to ignore.

Due to a horrible new law (HB 1193) recently passed in Colorado, Amazon terminated all of its "Amazon Associates" accounts in Colorado. (Amazon Associates is an affiliate program: members earn a small commission on Amazon sales via their links.)

I'm a Colorado Amazon Associate -- or I was. I'm sickened by the whole fiasco. In an instant, the new law meant that so much of my past work was wasted and so many of my future plans were derailed.

Many on the left blame Amazon, but that's not fair in the slightest. The Colorado government -- our legislators and governor -- created this mess by its imposition of an "Amazon Tax" with HB 1193. Given its Colorado-based affiliates, that law would have crippled Amazon with an onerous and expensive confusion of red tape, plus a crazy patchwork of local taxes. The only way for Amazon to extricate itself from that nightmare was to terminate the Affiliate Program.

If you're interested in this issue, read my blog post, Colorado Screws Amazon and Its Affiliates, as well as Ari Armstrong's lengthy analysis, Stop the "Amazon Tax"!.

I've also created a super-quick web site, to be expanded and updated soon: RepealTheAmazonTax.com. If you want to help pressure the Colorado legislature to repeal this awful law, please join the low-volume e-mail list, NoAmazonTax @ GoogleGroups.

And please, spread the word!

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