Amazon isn’t stupid so when we modify the law in an attempt to collect sales taxes that obviously people don’t want to pay, Amazon simply says “Oh yeah. Lemme see you make me” lays a little rubber, flicks off the governor and bounces the fuck outta here. Seems Amazon and Minnesotans have much in common regarding the taxes we want to pay.
After a recent inconvenience I ran into while attempting to register an Amazon affiliate account, I was motivated to write the letter I’ve included at the bottom. It seems Minnesota is among a hand full of states whose citizens are unable to do business with Amazon.com via their affiliate program. A recent change in our Minnesota’s Tax code shifts the burden of sales tax on items distributed via internet based retailers from the purchaser to the distributor. Provided said distributor has a physical outlet in the state. So, that means for instance Target is now responsible for the sales tax on items purchased via the web since it has stores here. On the other hand Newegg.com would not be since it has no physical distribution outlets anywhere. In the confusion zone of the new law are companies like Amazon. Amazon is an internet company so at first glance you imagine they would not be affected. However any MN resident who uses Amazons affiliate marketing links to generate extra income counts as a physical distribution outlet. Thus if one MN resident uses Amazon affiliate links, Amazon has to pay the sales tax on every sale they make to a MN resident.
So the obvious decision for Amazon is to terminate all MN affiliate accounts and save themselves potentially millions in tax obligations. We on the other hand can’t just stop doing business here to avoid the cost of this. Minnesotans lose the income produced by all of the people who were earning money from internet affiliate programs like amazons. Sure maybe they weren’t paying sales tax on those transactions. But when they were collecting an income from the proceeds that money generally got spent here I betcha. Spent on goods and services that have associated sales taxes or licensing fees. Spent to pay employees or pay their property taxes or to keep their car and the gas tax fueled up. Spent paying their utilities like electric, gas, water, phone, trash, internet all of which have associated taxes as well. All of this was not enough. So we went for the triple lindie tax via this internet sales tax thing and amazon gave em the slip and we got slammed.
I realize that, in the short term, additional revenue collected from companies who don’t have the option of telling us to fuck ourselves will outweigh the estimated cost of this new policy. Note the word estimated though. Affiliate marketing is big big big business with many niches and gray area inclusions. Damn near every dollar that touches the internet is going into the hands of a company that uses some form of affiliate marketing either directly or by proxy. Ever look for a job online? Monster.com or similar? How do they make money? They either charge companies to post job openings or charge companies to review or hire applicants through their site. The companies seeking an employee is uses monster as an affiliate marketer of job openings. The item sold or transacted is you when are hired or considered for employment. As I understand things, under this new law, when I as a Minnesota resident get a new job through monster.com the company that hired me has to pay sales tax on me. Or is that only if I am hired in Minnesota? What if I’m not a Minnesota resident but I’m hired here? What if neither me nor the company is based in MN but monster.com uses affiliate marketing advertisements hosted on domains owned by MN resident? I could continue tangling this thread through many increasingly chaotic yet sensible and logical iterations but you get the point.
Which is that laws of this sort are moronic. So poorly thought out that it can only leave you wondering…. Does the law have value of any kind? Beyond suctioning as much value out of as many areas as possible? I pose that a person who is conscious and considerate of their actions effects would generally be thought of as a better person than one who does not. Do you place more value on friends that are considerate and treat people equally? Or friends that speak out against people who collect welfare while they sit on unemployment with a fake broken neck? Or who scream fuck you’s and assholes at people that pass them on the freeway but races up the exit lane to cut in front of as many people as possible during rush hour while they laugh about how dumb everyone else is for not doing the same?
Focusing back in on this tax thing. I further pose that a millionaire like Mr Dayton, who spends our time and money so inconsiderately. Supporting laws that could be so inconsistent and unclear under what circumstances they should be applied one could only hope in the most miserable sense of the word that he did not bother to read it. A man such as this in his position could be nothing other than a half ass conman in a suit with a big bank account. One with the sole intent of stealing as much as possible from as many as possible. Honestly if you were as rich as Mr Dayton and you failed to realize how this situation with the internet tax would unfold that would mean you a have absolutely got to be either a moron or a liar. Though it could be both.
So what are we gonna do about this maybe liar, maybe moron driving our boat? I bet you would like a shot at driving wouldn’t you? Honestly I don’t even care who you are. Given the current state of things, if you had the opportunity to drive this boat we call Minnesota or home, in a boat driving contest vs Mr Dayton I’m mortgaging my house to bet on you cause that man’s a moron or a cheat. We take boating very seriously in Minnesota so we don’t let that cheater shit play and he would be sunk.
It is important to note that this internet sales tax law is a state law which narrowly proceeds similar federal laws going into effect (I don’t specifically give a shit) pretty quick here. It would probably be a good bet that they cause similar jostling at the edge of the whole country instead of the edges of the few states who tried this. Remember in school when you learned about the stamp tax or the tea tax and the how the people affected by the tax just said “Fuck you then I guess we just aren’t doing business anymore” and then england got all sad faced cause they were still all broke so they came over here to get bitch slapped?
This time in which I find myself to be living here with you. It reeks of shit just I as imagine the stench of shit to have been in 1773.
I’ll keep this simple and say: This countries people, no matter their position economically, became affluent relative to the rest of the world. Due to what we would today possibly regard as an excess of freedom and an extreme lack of taxation.
I don’t see how we could ever expect to cover a shortage with an increase. Every added tax complication equates to a lessened ability to achieve the goal a tax complication was introduced to pay for.
Mr Dayton you should know better than most, an employee will out perform his peers, produce more for his employer and all together lead a better life the less red tape there is to cut during work hours.
Step back. Take a vacation. Remember in the future to consider if the reaction to a solution you implement is likely to undo or cause a greater issue than the one you began with.
To whomever reads this,
Have a good afternoon.