Illinois Gov. Quinn Flaunts “Fairness” in Passing Nexus Tax, Cuts off Nose to Spite Amazon
Even grown men can act like small boys. Instead of making a business decision that would secure the position of Illinois as a state that welcomes the tech community, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has decided to sign ill-conceived affiliate nexus bill HB3659 out of “fairness”. Specifically a member of Governor Quinn’s office who wished to remain unnamed stated that Pat Quinn had made the decision because it was “Amazon that was being unfair.” So like a petulant child Governor Quinn is lashing out at Amazon. Who he is truly hurting are dozens of small business owners in Illinois.
The misguided affiliate nexus portion of bill HB3659 was introduced by Senator John J. Cullerton (D), Illinois’s version of the so-called “Amazon Tax” which forces out- of-state retailers to collect Illinois state sales tax for Internet sales, based on the premise that affiliate marketers create a tax nexus. The bill was heavily fought against by ShareASale, Google, Performance Marketing Association, and TechAmerica.
What is truly tragic about Governor Quinn’s decision to ratify this bill is that not one penny will be collected from Amazon. As in other states that have passed such measures Amazon has already notified its affiliates that it plans to terminate relationships with them (we expect that to happen today). Other merchants like Overstock will likely follow suit. Amazon and the other merchants will still make money in Illinois by selling through other marketing channels.
So who gets hurt by Governor Quinn’s skewed concept of fairness? Dozens of publishers, website owners, small business owners in Illinois that rely on affiliate marketing as a form of revenue. Quinn’s “fairness” will causeÂ job loss and an increase in unemployment. He is inflicting damage on his own constituents. Now there’s a model for fairness not to mention fiscal logic!
What this debacle in Illinois proves is that big box retailers have mustered a lot of lobbying clout and are willing to stomp on small business in order to gain an advantage over internet competitors. Governor Quinn is just gullible enough or greedy enough to lend validity to their lobby.
Retail giants like Wal-Mart are already wooing discarded Amazon affiliates. It’s only a matter of time before pro-tech states start wooing small business hurt by Governor Quinn away from Illinois.