This morning the following e-mail has landed in mailboxes of all North Carolina affiliates of Amazon:
We regret to inform you that the North Carolina state legislature (the General Assembly) appears ready to enact an unconstitutional tax collection scheme that would leave Amazon.com little choice but to end its relationships with North Carolina-based Associates. You are receiving this e-mail because our records indicate that you are an Amazon Associate and resident of North Carolina.
Please note that this is not an immediate termination notice and you are still a valued participant in the Associates Program. All referral fees earned on qualified traffic will continue to be paid as planned.
But because the new law is drafted to go into effect once enacted – which could happen in the next two weeks – we will have to terminate the participation of all North Carolina residents in the Amazon Associates program on or before that same day. After the termination day, we will no longer pay any referral fees for customers referred to Amazon.com or Endless.com nor will we accept new applications for the Associates program from North Carolina residents.
The unfortunate consequences of this legislation on North Carolina residents like you were explained in detail to key senators and representatives in Raleigh, including the leadership of the Senate, House, and both chambers’ finance committees. Other states, including Maryland, Minnesota, and Tennessee, considered nearly identical schemes, but rejected these proposals largely because of the adverse impact on their states’ residents.
The North Carolina General Assembly’s website is http://www.ncleg.net/, and additional information may be obtained from the Performance Marketing Alliance at http://www.performancemarketingalliance.com/.
We thank you for being part of the Amazon Associates program, and we will apprise you of the General Assembly’s action on this matter.
It seems that North Carolina is about to enact the “unconstitutional tax collection scheme” similar to the one that became a law in state of New York last year.
A Greensboro, NC based news website writes that this “tax change is part of a package passed by the House last week in its attempt to rewrite the budget” by lawmakers who are “struggling to fill what they say is a $4.5 billion gap between the money needed to keep government operating as it is and the revenue the state is due to take in next year.” The General Assembly’s estimate is that this will help the sate raise $13.2 million next year. I wonder if they expected major players to start pulling out of the game. They should have if they have followed the Amazon’s reaction to this in other states.
If you are reading this, and you are a North Carolina based affiliate, it is not too late to contact your state representative to fight this bill! Chances are the lawmakers have no clue that what they are doing is actually going to put great numbers of NC residents out of business, the affiliate marketing business.