By: Pat Austin
SHREVEPORT – Amazon is ending its Associates Program in Louisiana effective April 1. I received this email last week:
Greetings from the Amazon Associates Program:
We’re writing to inform you that the Louisiana state legislature has passed, and Governor John Bel Edwards has signed, a bill to establish tax nexus and impose tax collection requirements, which is forcing Amazon.com to end its advertising relationships with all Louisiana-based associates. You are receiving this email because our records indicate that you are a resident of Louisiana. If our records are incorrect, please update the details of your Associates account here before March 25, 2016 to avoid termination.
Please note that this is not an immediate termination notice and you are still a valued participant in the Amazon Associates Program. However, if this bill is not repealed or overturned prior to going into effect April 1, we will no longer pay any advertising fees for sales referred to Amazon.com or its subsidiaries, and we will not be able to accept new applications for the Amazon Associates Program from Louisiana residents.
The unfortunate consequences of this legislation affecting Louisiana residents like you were explained to the Louisiana 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.
Should you feel the need to voice your opinion directly, Governor Edwards’ office may be reached here.
We thank you for being part of the Amazon Associates Program, and wish you continued success in the future.
The Amazon Associates Team
Now, I didn’t make a lot from my Amazon referrals, not the kind of serious change Stacy McCain makes from them, but that little commission incentive was nice every now and then. Remember when capitalism was a good thing?
Louisiana considered passing the Amazon Tax in 2011 but at the time Governor Jindal vetoed the bill for the purpose of keeping his no new taxes pledge. There was little doubt this time that our new governor, Mr. “Tax to Prosperity” John Bel Edwards, would sign the bill.
Legislators don’t really know how much income this new tax will generate. Studies have shown that people don’t spend quite as much on Amazon purchases once the sales tax kicks in:
Indeed, the researchers found that low-income households reduced the amount they spent on goods on Amazon by 12 percent, while high-income households pulled back by 9 percent. The researchers suggested this makes sense given that low-income shoppers generally tend to be the most price-sensitive.
The Amazon Tax had an especially chilling effect on big-ticket purchases that totaled more than $250, the study found. On these transactions, Amazon sales declined 11.4 percent once the tax was put in place.
So, here ends my relationship with the Amazon Associates program. No more referral links at the end of my posts. No more little cash incentives for advertising.
Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.
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