Missouri Legislature Kills Amazon Associates Program for Missourians

Seal of Missouri.
Seal of Missouri. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In its last session, the Missouri legislature passed Senate Bill 23 (SB23) often referred to as the “Amazon Tax.”  Governor Nixon signed this bill into law, going into effect on August 28.

This bill requires that Amazon collect and remit to the State sales tax on any sales made through its associate referral program.  Amazon came up with a very simple solution:  end all associate programs in Missouri effective August 27.  Here is part of the letter Amazon sent out to all of its associates, calling the law “unconstitutional.”

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 August 27, 2013. This is a direct result of the unconstitutional Missouri state tax collection legislation passed by the state legislature and signed by Governor Nixon on July 5, 2013, with an effective date of August 28, 2013. As a result, we will no longer pay any advertising fees for customers referred to an Amazon Site after August 27 nor will we accept new applications for the Associates Program from Missouri residents.

Also in this letter, Amazon states that it is in favor of the Marketplace Fairness Act now before Congress:

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 Missouri residents.

This is yet another example of greedy government making life harder for its people.  Amazon is taking steps to keep their business as free from government red tape as it can.  Instead of cowering to the government, they’ve chosen to not participate.  Will this hurt their multi billion dollar business?  Probably not.  Instead, this will hurt thousands of small businesses and individuals in Missouri who will no longer receive an income from sales they refer to Amazon.  This means less money for Missourians to spend which results in less taxes collected within the state.  This will hurt the very people Governor Nixon and the Missouri legislature claim to serve.  Amazon wins, Missourians lose.

By Lori Camper


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