Letter Published on the Amazon Tax

 Posted by on 12 March 2010 at 9:00 am  Activism, Amazon Tax
Mar 122010

The Denver Post published a slew of letters on the “Amazon Tax” today, including mine. Here’s mine:

Too many people seem eager to blame Amazon for the termination of its “Associates” program.

I’ve been an Amazon Associate for years. I learned that my account was closed in the wee hours of Sunday morning. At the time, I was hard at work on a new website — a labor of love that I hoped would earn me some money by links to relevant Amazon products.

I was horrified. In an instant, so much of my work was wasted and so many of my future plans were destroyed.

Yet I don’t blame Amazon. I blame our Colorado politicians for enacting an unjust law. They’ve made business through affiliates impossible in Colorado by imposing a mess of costly red tape and taxes. Amazon is not just a victim in this mess, but the primary victim.

Honest people do not blame business for the sins of government.

Repeal the “Amazon tax”!

Diana Hsieh, Sedalia

However, consider the lead letter:

I’ve heard Amazon.com’s talking points about how horrible Colorado is for taxing people who do business online but don’t pay sales or other taxes to the state where they derive their revenue. They say nexus legislation will cost us jobs. The reality is online predators such as Amazon.com don’t pay their fair share of taxes and suck dollars out of local communities that normally go to funding parks and park maintenance, police services, local jobs, and other programs that improve our quality of life.

The real issue is how international online retailers continue to get away with tax-dodging while our local businesses — companies that do pay local taxes, create local jobs, hire local people, and fund local services — can’t compete with these online giants. These predators have sold books and other products below wholesale cost to dominate a market while being subsidized by the U.S. government and states with outdated tax laws. Fair taxation helps level the playing field for independent business people and helps local communities survive.

Next time you hit a pothole your city can’t fix, thank Amazon.

Eric Grimm, Colorado Springs

Go read them all.

Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha