Amazon has a Kindle Associate Program that allows Affiliates (bloggers like me) to add banners to their blog with links to Amazon. The affiliates get 4% to 15% of sales generated through their banner link. Since creating blog posts involves a large investment of time and I’m inadvertently plugging the Kindle in every post, this should have been a win/win for me. I chose a small discreet banner to put in the right side column and tried to sign up but discovered
Illinois Residents Can Not be Affiliates
in Amazons Kindle Associate Program.
I can not become an affiliate because I live in the Land of Lincoln and Crooked Politicians & Lobbyist (Illinois State Government rated #2 in a Most Corrupt State Government Study.) Amazon has been forced to cancel the contracts of thousands of fellow Illinois bloggers who were already part of the Associate program. The contract cancellation letter Amazon sent Illinois Affiliates is copied at the bottom of this post. Associate Programs in Colorado, North Carolina, and Rhode Island have been ended by Amazon due to similar disputes and other states are on the endangered list.
I received further information since first preparing this blog and discovered
My Blog’s point of view–Me vs Pocket change to promote Kindle, Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg.
The real issue is Consumers do not pay state tax on online sales generated through companies with headquarters outside of their state due to a loop hole–Distribution Center vs Business Nexus. Due to this States are losing billions in tax revenue and are tackling (picking on?) Amazon, arguably the business generating the largest sales tax loss. Sadly Amazons competitors are allegedly pushing this to give them a sales edge by hurting Amazons sales and swamping profit with legal fees–in the “short” term (which could be years in legal battles). At the same time Amazon is side-stepping this issue by shutting down distribution centers in States that pass tax laws to close the loophole, which in turns causes states to lose tax revenue and thousands of citizens lose jobs. It seems to be lose/lose for everyone, states.businesses, and consumers.
Most likely, In the end, consumers will pay sales tax to states on all online sales.
See articles at end of post to learn more about this issue.
Bloggers and Readers who reside in Illinois and would like to write an email to our Governor about these tax changes click here.
Writing might be a lesson in futility but at least you’ll get to speak your mind.
Bloggers interested in Amazon’s Associate Program click here.
Amazon’s Letter to Illinois Associates:
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 Amazon.com, Endless.com, or SmallParts.com. 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 account here. 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 http://www.amazon.com 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
Tech Flash http://www.techflash.com/seattle/2011/06/amazon-offers-jobs.html
The Digital Reader at http://www.the-digital-reader.com/2011/07/21/texas-going-after-amazon-again/#more-21736