Earlier this week, the PMA declared a pair of victories for affiliate marketers. The victories–both against the Amazon Tax (or more properly, the Affiliate Nexus Tax)–come from the states of Minnesota and California. But in the state of Minnesota, a measure has passed which Executive Director Rebecca Madigan equates to any Amazon tax-like initiative being “dead in Minnesota.” But it’s just the beginning of a long, long road to getting over 25,000 businesses back and running in the Golden State.
Madigan issued the following statement on the status of the referendum in California:
“The Performance Marketing Association is pleased the California Attorney General has issued a title and summary for the recently filed referendum on ABX1 28. The Performance Marketing Association remains encouraged the voters of California will support this referendum as they learn the facts supporting this measure. A lot of misinformation has been dispersed and as we move forward the facts will speak for themselves which will allow 25,000 web-based businesses to get back to work.”
Problematic, then, are editorials like this running in the L.A. Times which are thick on literary allusions and references to robber barons but thin on actual facts. Ultimately, they undermine the referendum and call for Amazon to collect sales taxes from its affiliates. The same argument neglects the fact that laws are being passed on semantics: The term “nexus” in this case is being redefined into something broad and inaccurate.
While Amazon enjoys partnerships with independent affiliates, said affiliates are hardly ambassadors of the Amazon brand–the way a McDonald’s franchise might be an ambassador for that particular brand. They’re more akin to independent contractors working on a project basis.
Another concern, however remains among internet marketers of all stripes: Whether they’re being targeted for nexus taxes solely because sales generated through their efforts can be tracked, while offline purchases enjoy far less accurate tracking.