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Amazon Shuts Down Minnesota Affiliates

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It’s official—Amazon will close affiliate accounts in the state of Minnesota due the state legislature’s recent passage of an online sales tax bill. Here is the announcement that Amazon’s Minnesota affiliates received today:

“We are writing from the Amazon Associates Program to notify you that your Associates account will be closed and your Amazon Services LLC Associates Program Operating Agreement will be terminated effective June 30, 2013.  This is a direct result of the unconstitutional Minnesota state tax collection legislation passed by the state legislature and signed by Governor Dayton on May 23, 2013, with an effective date of July 1, 2013. As a result, we will no longer pay any advertising fees for customers referred to an Amazon Site after June 30 nor will we accept new applications for the Associates Program from Minnesota residents.

Please be assured that all qualifying advertising fees earned prior to July 1, 2013, will be processed and paid in full in accordance with your regular advertising fee schedule. Based on your account closure date of June 30, 2013, any final payments will be paid by August 30, 2013.

While we oppose this unconstitutional state legislation, we strongly support the federal Marketplace Fairness Act now pending before Congress. Congressional legislation is the only way to create a simplified, constitutional framework to resolve interstate sales tax issues and it would allow us to re-open our Associates program to Minnesota residents.

We thank you for being part of the Amazon Associates Program, and look forward to re-opening our program when Congress passes the Marketplace Fairness Act.

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Sincerely,

The Amazon Associates Team”

The web retailing giant has previously ended affiliate programs in California, North Carolina, Colorado, Connecticut, Arkansas, Illinois and Rhode Island (at least).

So far, the closings don’t seem to have harmed Amazon much nor helped the brick-and-mortar retailers clamoring for online sales taxes (Target and Best Buy were big supporters of the Minnesota law).

So it’s not clear who wins from such laws, other than the politicians who collect hefty campaign contributions for passing them. If large online retailers like Amazon simply respond by shutting down local affiliates, the bills won’t raise the promised revenue for states.

But it is clear who loses: thousands of small website owners who made a few bucks each month sending buyers to Amazon.com. Isn’t that just great.

Comments on this Article: 5

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  1. Scott says:

    Typical Minnesota democrat – tax first, ask questions later. This effectively cuts off a significant revenue stream of many Minnesota businesses. Unbelievable!

  2. Dave says:

    The only recourse I have then is to NEVER EVER EVER buy another product off of your site, and also advertise how you go out of your way punishing non-responsible parties for your lack of being able to collect more millions.

  3. Rick246 says:

    Get off your high horse David. It was a stupid tax and a stupid move with the feds working on the Market Place Fairness act. You want to criticism a business for making a profit, which they earned, but support a greedy state government that never creates wealth and can only take it from others? Give me a break! I think I’ll go finish my Amazon book order now.

  4. Alecia says:

    “But it is clear who loses: thousands of small website owners who made a few bucks each month sending buyers to Amazon.com. Isn’t that just great.”

    A “few bucks”!? I made a full-time income on my blog with Amazon. Over $2500 a month will be gone in a few weeks! I can’t just switch to another affiliate because Amazon was the only place that carried the products that I recommend on my blog. I’m really panicking about what to do. I could move to Iowa and live with my aunt. At least I could still earn from Amazon until I figure out what to do. But, then again, I don’t want to have to pay income tax there. I’m so confused about what to do right now. :( I wish Congress would get off their butts and pass the Marketplace Fairness Act so I don’t have to deal with this.

    • Kent Grabau says:

      Here, in Montana, we don’t have sales tax. I grew up in Minnesota (Owatonna) and am willing to help, where and when I can. I’m a small business owner, too, and could wrap you into our company so you can continue your Amazon business. Contact me through my website at threepinesproductions.com

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