Instead Of Fairness, Focus On Economic Impact

RECEIVED Mon., Feb. 21, 2011

Dear Editor,
    Re: "Amazon's Waltz Across Taxes" [News, Feb. 18]: Rep. Elliott Naishtat said House Bill 1317 "is not about raising taxes. Rather, this bill is about fairness."
    He does have a good point that the bill is not about taxes, as similar legislation in other states such as Colorado, North Carolina, and Rhode Island has shown that it doesn't generate income for the state.
    In states where an "advertising tax" has passed, Amazon.com and other online retailers simply kick out the affiliates in that state from their affiliate program.
    So, the net result is that those companies still don't have a tax nexus, and tens of thousands of residents (if not more) are fired from the affiliate programs.
    The tax revenue doesn't appear, but plenty of income for residents disappears.
    I hope the lawmakers take the overall negative impact on the state economy into consideration rather than focus on this nebulous notion of fairness.
Take care,
Shawn Collins
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