In response to the passage of a Louisiana law that levels the playing field for Main Street retailers, Amazon has fired its online affiliates in the state, who act as sales agents on behalf of the corporate retailer, so that it will not be obligated to collect and remit sales tax, as reported by the Advocate.
The new law imposes the collection of sales and use taxes due on sales made in Louisiana by a remote dealer if its cumulative sale of goods to customers in the state exceeds $50,000 during the preceding 12 months. It also extends the definition of dealer to include people who solicit business through an independent contractor or “any other representative pursuant to an agreement with a Louisiana resident or business under which the resident or business, for a commission, referral fee, or other consideration of any kind, directly or indirectly, refers potential customers, whether by link on an Internet website, an in-personal oral presentation, telemarketing, or otherwise to the seller.”
Amazon notified its Amazon Associates program members in Louisiana that it was terminating its relationship with them in an e-mail, the Advocate reported. “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,” Amazon wrote in the e-mail. “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.”