Amazon Fires its Colorado Affiliates – Good Work State Legislature

Amazon fired all of its Colorado based affiliates (associates) today because of new bill that Gov. Ritter signed into law. It’s House Bill 10-1193. The full text of it is copied below. Instead of helping small businesses the state once again tries to tax them, in this case, completely shutting down their primary source of revenue. Good work Representative Labuda, Merrifield, Frangas, Kagan, Ryden, and Schafer and don’t forget State Senator Heath.

I applaud Amazon for taking this stance. There’s so much wasteful spending in Colorado that the state needs to look internally like all small businesses have done before they tax tax tax. Sure the state has made some cuts but the process are like that of any government totally inefficient.

The state (and the city of Denver) should be focusing on helping small businesses not imposing higher taxes. Provide opportunities for employees to higher new individuals and create sustainable job growth. I know of only one instance where they’ve tried to do this. It’s a little known program called “Higher Colorado” which supposedly uses federal stimulus money to encourage hiring by paying the salary of a qualified new employee for up to 6 months. The problem is, it is impossible to find out anything about it. I’ve personally called several state run job centers in the Denver area and no one will call me back. I WANT and NEED to hire people but the taxes that I’d have to pay make it disadvantageous to do so.

Amazon Email Firing it’s Colorado Affiliates

Dear Colorado-based Amazon Associate:

We are writing from the Amazon Associates Program to inform you that the Colorado government recently enacted a law to impose sales tax regulations on online retailers. The regulations are burdensome and no other state has similar rules. The new regulations do not require online retailers to collect sales tax. Instead, they are clearly intended to increase the compliance burden to a point where online retailers will be induced to “voluntarily” collect Colorado sales tax — a course we won’t take.

We and many others strongly opposed this legislation, known as HB 10-1193, but it was enacted anyway. Regrettably, as a result of the new law, we have decided to stop advertising through Associates based in Colorado. We plan to continue to sell to Colorado residents, however, and will advertise through other channels, including through Associates based in other states.

There is a right way for Colorado to pursue its revenue goals, but this new law is a wrong way. As we repeatedly communicated to Colorado legislators, including those who sponsored and supported the new law, we are not opposed to collecting sales tax within a constitutionally-permissible system applied even-handedly. The US Supreme Court has defined what would be constitutional, and if Colorado would repeal the current law or follow the constitutional approach to collection, we would welcome the opportunity to reinstate Colorado-based Associates.

You may express your views of Colorado’s new law to members of the General Assembly and to Governor Ritter, who signed the bill.

Your Associates account has been closed as of March 8, 2010, and we will no longer pay advertising fees for customers you refer to Amazon.com after that date. Please be assured that all qualifying advertising fees earned prior to March 8, 2010, will be processed and paid in accordance with our regular payment schedule. Based on your account closure date of March 8, any final payments will be paid by May 31, 2010.

We have enjoyed working with you and other Colorado-based participants in the Amazon Associates Program, and wish you all the best in your future.

Best Regards,

The Amazon Associates Team

HOUSE BILL 10-1193
BY REPRESENTATIVE(S) Pommer, Benefield, Hullinghorst, Judd,
Labuda, Merrifield, Frangas, Kagan, Ryden, Schafer S.;
also SENATOR(S) Heath.
CONCERNING THE COLLECTION OF SALES AND USE TAXES ON SALES MADE BY OUT-OF-STATE RETAILERS, AND MAKING AN APPROPRIATION
THEREFOR.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado: SECTION 1. 39-26-102 (3) (b) and (8), Colorado Revised Statutes,
are amended to read:

39-26-102. Definitions. As used in this article, unless the context
otherwise requires:
(3) “Doing business in this state” means the selling, leasing, or delivering in this state, or any activity in this state in connection with the
selling, leasing, or delivering in this state, of tangible personal property by a retail sale as defined in this section, for use, storage, distribution, or
consumption within this state. This term includes, but shall not be limited to, the following acts or methods of transacting business:

________
Capital letters indicate new material added to existing statutes; dashes through words indicate
deletions from existing statutes and such material not part of act.
(b) (I) The soliciting, either by direct representatives, indirect representatives, manufacturers’ agents, or by distribution of catalogues or
other advertising, or by use of any communication media, or by use of the newspaper, radio, or television advertising media, or by any other means
whatsoever, of business from persons residing in this state and by reason thereof receiving orders from, or selling or leasing tangible personal
property to, such persons residing in this state for use, consumption, distribution, and storage for use or consumption in this state.
(II) COMMENCING MARCH 1, 2010, IF A RETAILER THAT DOES NOT COLLECT COLORADO SALES TAX IS PART OF A CONTROLLED GROUP OF
CORPORATIONS, AND THAT CONTROLLED GROUP HAS A COMPONENT MEMBER THAT IS A RETAILER WITH PHYSICAL PRESENCE IN THIS STATE, THE RETAILER
THAT DOES NOT COLLECT COLORADO SALES TAX IS PRESUMED TO BE DOING BUSINESS IN THIS STATE. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SUBPARAGRAPH (II),
“CONTROLLED GROUP OF CORPORATIONS” HAS THE SAME MEANING AS SET FORTH IN SECTION 1563 (a) OF THE FEDERAL “INTERNAL REVENUE CODE OF
1986″, AS AMENDED, AND “COMPONENT MEMBER” HAS THE SAME MEANING AS SET FORTH IN SECTION 1563 (b) OF THE FEDERAL “INTERNAL REVENUE
CODE OF 1986″, AS AMENDED. THIS PRESUMPTION MAY BE REBUTTED BY PROOF THAT DURING THE CALENDAR YEAR IN QUESTION, THE COMPONENT
MEMBER THAT IS A RETAILER WITH PHYSICAL PRESENCE IN THIS STATE DID NOT ENGAGE IN ANY CONSTITUTIONALLY SUFFICIENT SOLICITATION IN THIS
STATE ON BEHALF OF THE RETAILER THAT DOES NOT COLLECT COLORADO SALES TAX.
(8) “Retailer” or “vendor” means a person doing a retail business IN THIS STATE, known to the trade and public as such, and selling to the user
or consumer, and not for resale.

SECTION 2. 39-21-112, Colorado Revised Statutes, is amended
BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SUBSECTION to read:
39-21-112. Duties and powers of executive director. (3.5) (a) IF ANY RETAILER THAT DOES NOT COLLECT COLORADO SALES TAX REFUSES
VOLUNTARILY TO FURNISH ANY OF THE INFORMATION SPECIFIED IN SUBSECTION (1) OF THIS SECTION WHEN REQUESTED BY THE EXECUTIVE
DIRECTOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE OR HIS OR HER EMPLOYEE, AGENT, OR REPRESENTATIVE, THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, BY SUBPOENA
ISSUED UNDER THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S HAND, MAY REQUIRE THE PAGE 2-HOUSE BILL 10-1193
ATTENDANCE OF THE RETAILER AND THE PRODUCTION BY HIM OR HER OF ANY OF THE FOREGOING INFORMATION IN THE RETAILER’S POSSESSION AND
MAY ADMINISTER AN OATH TO HIM OR HER AND TAKE HIS OR HER TESTIMONY. IF THE RETAILER FAILS OR REFUSES TO RESPOND TO SAID
SUBPOENA AND GIVE TESTIMONY, THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR MAY APPLY TO ANY JUDGE OF THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE STATE OF COLORADO TO
ENFORCE SUCH SUBPOENA BY ANY APPROPRIATE ORDER, INCLUDING, IF APPROPRIATE, AN ATTACHMENT AGAINST THE RETAILER AS FOR CONTEMPT,
AND UPON HEARING, SAID JUDGE HAS, FOR THE PURPOSE OF ENFORCING OBEDIENCE TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF SAID SUBPOENA, POWER TO MAKE
SUCH ORDER AS, IN HIS OR HER DISCRETION, HE OR SHE DEEMS CONSISTENT WITH THE LAW FOR PUNISHMENT OF CONTEMPTS.
(b) FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SUBSECTION (3.5), “RETAILER” SHALL HAVE THE SAME MEANING AS SET FORTH IN SECTION 39-26-102 (8).
(c) (I) EACH RETAILER THAT DOES NOT COLLECT COLORADO SALES TAX SHALL NOTIFY COLORADO PURCHASERS THAT SALES OR USE TAX IS DUE
ON CERTAIN PURCHASES MADE FROM THE RETAILER AND THAT THE STATE OF
COLORADO REQUIRES THE PURCHASER TO FILE A SALES OR USE TAX RETURN.
(II) FAILURE TO PROVIDE THE NOTICE REQUIRED IN SUBPARAGRAPH
(I) OF THIS PARAGRAPH (c) SHALL SUBJECT THE RETAILER TO A PENALTY OF
FIVE DOLLARS FOR EACH SUCH FAILURE, UNLESS THE RETAILER SHOWS
REASONABLE CAUSE FOR SUCH FAILURE.
(d) (I) (A) EACH RETAILER THAT DOES NOT COLLECT COLORADO
SALES TAX SHALL SEND NOTIFICATION TO ALL COLORADO PURCHASERS BY
JANUARY 31 OF EACH YEAR SHOWING SUCH INFORMATION AS THE
COLORADO DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE SHALL REQUIRE BY RULE AND THE
TOTAL AMOUNT PAID BY THE PURCHASER FOR COLORADO PURCHASES MADE
FROM THE RETAILER IN THE PREVIOUS CALENDAR YEAR. SUCH NOTIFICATION
SHALL INCLUDE, IF AVAILABLE, THE DATES OF PURCHASES, THE AMOUNTS OF
EACH PURCHASE, AND THE CATEGORY OF THE PURCHASE, INCLUDING, IF
KNOWN BY THE RETAILER, WHETHER THE PURCHASE IS EXEMPT OR NOT
EXEMPT FROM TAXATION. THE NOTIFICATION SHALL STATE THAT THE STATE
OF COLORADO REQUIRES A SALES OR USE TAX RETURN TO BE FILED AND
SALES OR USE TAX PAID ON CERTAIN COLORADO PURCHASES MADE BY THE
PURCHASER FROM THE RETAILER.
PAGE 3-HOUSE BILL 10-1193
(B) THE NOTIFICATION SPECIFIED IN SUB-SUBPARAGRAPH (A) OF THIS
SUBPARAGRAPH (I) SHALL BE SENT SEPARATELY TO ALL COLORADO
PURCHASERS BY FIRST-CLASS MAIL AND SHALL NOT BE INCLUDED WITH ANY
OTHER SHIPMENTS. THE NOTIFICATION SHALL INCLUDE THE WORDS
“IMPORTANT TAX DOCUMENT ENCLOSED” ON THE EXTERIOR OF THE
MAILING. THE NOTIFICATION SHALL INCLUDE THE NAME OF THE RETAILER.
(II) (A) EACH RETAILER THAT DOES NOT COLLECT COLORADO SALES
TAX SHALL FILE AN ANNUAL STATEMENT FOR EACH PURCHASER TO THE
DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE ON SUCH FORMS AS ARE PROVIDED OR APPROVED
BY THE DEPARTMENT SHOWING THE TOTAL AMOUNT PAID FOR COLORADO
PURCHASES OF SUCH PURCHASERS DURING THE PRECEDING CALENDAR YEAR
OR ANY PORTION THEREOF, AND SUCH ANNUAL STATEMENT SHALL BE FILED
ON OR BEFORE MARCH 1 OF EACH YEAR.
(B) THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE
MAY REQUIRE ANY RETAILER THAT DOES NOT COLLECT COLORADO SALES
TAX THAT MAKES TOTAL COLORADO SALES OF MORE THAN ONE HUNDRED
THOUSAND DOLLARS IN A YEAR TO FILE THE ANNUAL STATEMENT DESCRIBED
IN SUB-SUBPARAGRAPH (A) OF THIS SUBPARAGRAPH (II) BY MAGNETIC
MEDIA OR ANOTHER MACHINE-READABLE FORM FOR THAT YEAR.
(III) (A) FAILURE TO SEND THE NOTIFICATION REQUIRED IN
SUBPARAGRAPH (I) OF THIS PARAGRAPH (d) SHALL SUBJECT THE RETAILER
TO A PENALTY OF TEN DOLLARS FOR EACH SUCH FAILURE, UNLESS THE
RETAILER SHOWS REASONABLE CAUSE FOR SUCH FAILURE.
(B) FAILURE TO FILE THE ANNUAL STATEMENT REQUIRED IN
SUB-SUBPARAGRAPH (A) OF SUBPARAGRAPH (II) OF THIS PARAGRAPH (d)
SHALL SUBJECT THE RETAILER TO A PENALTY OF TEN DOLLARS FOR EACH
PURCHASER THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN INCLUDED IN SUCH ANNUAL
STATEMENT, UNLESS THE RETAILER SHOWS REASONABLE CAUSE FOR SUCH
FAILURE.
SECTION 3. Part 1 of article 21 of title 39, Colorado Revised
Statutes, is amended BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION to read:
39-21-122. Revenue impact of 2010 tax legislation – tracking by
department. THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE SHALL ACCOUNT FOR ALL
REVENUE ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE ENACTMENT OF HOUSE BILL 10-1193,
PAGE 4-HOUSE BILL 10-1193
ENACTED IN 2010, AND SHALL, TO THE EXTENT SUCH INFORMATION IS
AVAILABLE, MAKE QUARTERLY REPORTS TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
REGARDING THE QUARTERLY AND CUMULATIVE NET REVENUE GAIN TO THE
STATE RESULTING FROM THE ENACTMENT OF SAID BILL.
SECTION 4. Part 1 of article 75 of title 24, Colorado Revised
Statutes, is amended BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION to read:
24-75-113. 2010 bills to increase state revenue – prohibition on
hiring of new state employees. NO MONEYS DERIVED FROM THE INCREASE
IN STATE REVENUES RESULTING FROM THE PASSAGE OF HOUSE BILL 10-1193,
ENACTED IN 2010, SHALL BE APPROPRIATED FOR THE PURPOSE OF FUNDING
ADDITIONAL FULL-TIME EQUIVALENT STATE EMPLOYEES, EXCEPT FOR ANY
FULL-TIME EQUIVALENT STATE EMPLOYEES NECESSARY TO ENFORCE THE
PROVISIONS OF SAID HOUSE BILL 10-1193.
SECTION 5. Appropriation. (1) In addition to any other
appropriation, there is hereby appropriated, out of any moneys in the
general fund not otherwise appropriated, to the department of revenue, for
allocation to the taxation business group, for the fiscal year beginning July
1, 2010, the sum of one hundred thirty-one thousand five hundred
eighty-four dollars ($131,584) and 1.0 FTE, or so much thereof as may be
necessary, for the implementation of this act.
(2) In addition to any other appropriation, there is hereby
appropriated to the department of law, for the fiscal year beginning July 1,
2010, the sum of forty thousand dollars ($40,000), or so much thereof as
may be necessary, for the provision of legal services to the department of
revenue related to the implementation of this act. Said sum shall be from
reappropriated funds received from the department of revenue out of the
appropriation made in subsection (1) of this section.
(3) In addition to any other appropriation, there is hereby
appropriated, out of any moneys in the general fund not otherwise
appropriated, to the department of revenue, for allocation to the taxpayer
service division for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2010, the sum of thirty
thousand dollars ($30,000), or so much thereof as may be necessary, for the
implementation of this act.
SECTION 6. Safety clause. The general assembly hereby finds,
PAGE 5-HOUSE BILL 10-1193
determines, and declares that this act is necessary for the immediate
preservation of the public peace, health, and safety.
____________________________ ____________________________
Terrance D. Carroll Brandon C. Shaffer
SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE PRESIDENT OF
OF REPRESENTATIVES THE SENATE
____________________________ ____________________________
Marilyn Eddins Karen Goldman
CHIEF CLERK OF THE HOUSE SECRETARY OF
OF REPRESENTATIVES THE SENATE
APPROVED________________________________________
_________________________________________
Bill Ritter, Jr.
GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF COLORADO
PAGE 6-HOUSE BILL 10-1193

Brad Anderson

Brad Anderson is the founder and CEO of Fruition. Brad combined his passion for marketing, technology, innovation and data-based decision making into a successful national digital marketing agency when he created the Denver-based Fruition. Brad brings the unique perspective of an expert marketer, board member, agency owner and entrepreneur to his career and his thought-leadership writing.