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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador delsol's Avatar
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    Colorado next stage: Senate
    Ok so the bill passed the house. I will try to find the vote count (if someone has it please post...if I'm still in Colorado I will try to help those that voted to save my job). It looks like everything in Colorado is being done amongst party line. Not sure what that means for the senate. Should we focus only dems or what (maybe once we establish a unanimous republican vote)?


    They are 35 senators in Colorado.

    21 blue and 14 red.

    Here is the list:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_Senate

    Here are the senate districts: http://comaps.org/cosenate.html

    This map did not work for me (browser issue?): http://comaps.org/allsearch.html

    I guess at this point we need to regroup and see what the argument become since that "new" affiliate definition. I think senators in general are more knowledgeable and maybe we can get into the details. Senator are traditionally more conservative because of their greater experience of life.

    Key points probably still the same:

    - Will not raise 1 penny

    - Will probably destroy the affiliate industry in Colorado

    - Affiliates will go from being good financial contributors to the state, cites to financial burden to the state (unemployed).

    If you are starting from scratch read this first for some ideas:
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=128871
    and this
    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=128921


    All the following are draft ideas...

    --- how to word this concept ? ------
    Now the new point we need to think about is the special Colorado definition of affiliate. Will merchants fire affiliates?

    Is it worth the work/cost or risk to vendors?
    Is it legally possible?
    What if an affiliate give a business card with his URL on it? Would that simple act make Amazon liable for millions of un-collected sales taxes?
    Would the agreement between Amazon and the affiliate protect Amazon from nexus in case of an Affiliate violation?
    -----------------------

    --------Idea: don't politicize------
    Please do not see this as a party line issue since it will have real consequences for the finances of Colorado. Do not let bill 1193 (I think it will get renumbered for the senate) get politicized. The country is already too polarized. This bill is not a matter of tax or not tax or help the school or what not. It's a matter of "it will not work" (ie raise money) and cost many jobs in the process. Jobs that will be very difficult to replace during this great recession.

    ---------------- Nexus stuff ------
    *)I wonder if digging into the nexus issue is not something the senators would understand. This idea evolves around the fact that we are in the digital age and we have no law that covers this issue. Merchants from out of state and probably from Colorado (when doing business outside Colorado) are using the Quill v. North Dakota supreme court case since it is the only established guideline. Why would they not do so?

    *)The US congress might need to pass a law to address this. Since legally a state can not impose sales tax collections until nexus is established. Doing a state law to re-define the nexus of out-of-state companies is approaching the problem from an unproven angle. State law does not apply to out-of-state companies.

    *)Additionally this might be the proper due process to address this issue:

    ".../...
    The National Governors Association established the Streamlined Sales Tax Project, a multi-state effort to simplify and align sales tax policies. As of April 2009, 41 states and the District of Columbia had approved an interstate agreement that establishes uniform sales tax rules and definitions, and 23 states had taken the next step of passing implementing legislation.
    .../..."

    (Lets not be reckless with the states finances)
    In other words rushing to pass 1193 is very risky for the state since it will likely bring zero dollars from out of state merchants and destroy real Colorado jobs. During these difficult time is probably not the moment to take risk with the proven/established affiliate income generated for the state and cities. A bird in the hand is better then two birds in the bush.

    ------(WAIT)---

    Other idea why take the risk to destroy the prosperous affiliate industry that brings a lot of money to the state of Colorado. Lets wait until other states go threw this financially risky exercise. It will not collect any money anyway why do it now?

    ---(Amazon tax term is framing the issue with a bias; like "death tax" or "pro life")---

    Many like to call this the "Amazon tax" because it resonates well for political purposes in reality most of the money circulating via e-commerce is not with Amazon (get some numbers 0.1%?). It polarizes the issue and people stop thinking logically. It's all businesses with a web presence, including 1000s right here in Colorado, that prosper via the web.
    ---

    --- The local stores that are hurting-----
    Ecommerce has been taking off the last 15 years. Even during the recession it is growing (find a % of growth here?). Local bookstores and others are hurting. This is just a matter of the times changing. For example in 10 years 50% off books might be delivered electronical. eBags (online bags and accessories) a Colorado company is doing very well (fact check) and pays taxes in Colorado. While we understand these local stores pain especially in a downturn, blaming this on out of sate merchant not collecting taxes seems a little misguided maybe even discontected to reality. When you head hurts putting a bandage on your toe will probably not help.
    ------------------------------

    ---the boggy man------
    "We" talk about out-of-state merchants like their are the boggy man. Many Colorado companies also have a web presence and use the internet for selling online and do not collect sales taxes in other states (does eBag do? those Gaiam do? etc....). In other words our out-of-state merchants are someone's in-state merchant and vice versa.
    This argument is usually part of a loosing camp trying to find a scapegoat. Colorado needs to continue to be on the forefront of the new technologies and industries and not be afraid and go backward. We should not be shriveling in ball of protectionism but embrassing new technologies for our own prosperity.
    -----------

    ---- Loosing top affiliates/talent-----

    By loosing some of the best affiliates in the country, Colorado would not only be loosing consequent real tax revenue, but also, the top internet talent would be going to other states and might never return. Technology has lifted Colorado during the 90s and last decade. Do we think we can have a future without a solid understanding of the internet?
    --------

    ---grand ideas which might/should be the level of thinking of State Senator--
    It's during difficult times that the character of a state is proven. It's the wise decisions it takes during recessions that will define the if, when or how it will recover.
    -------

    ----Other idea: they did not seem to understand during the TV debates. ----

    Merchant will not replace us with other affiliates. We are already competing with out of state and worldwide affiliates every internet millisecond. We are already replaced. And not by just 1 or 2 other affiliates but rather tens of thousands or even millions as is the case with Amazon.
    ----

    ---other idea: probably not a good one but it is the truth----
    On TV, some dems were saying Amazon is taking Colorado affiliates hostage. They have it the wrong way. Amazon is asking nothing of Colorado, why would it need a hostage. The truth is that Colorado is asking something of out-of-state retailers. It's when you want something that you take a hostage. Colorado is using affiliates to create a nexus.
    -------

    Last edited by delsol; January 30th, 2010 at 03:25 AM.

  2. #2
    Advocate mellie's Avatar
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    So far the bill has only passed the "voice vote". There is still a required Third Reading and recorded vote. Since last night's vote was only a voice vote you will not find a list of how each person voted.
    Next week will be the Third Reading and recorded vote. (In some states Third Reading has to be at least three days after voice vote, not sure if Colorado is like that.) If the bill passes the Recorded vote it moves onto the Senate.

    There is still time to reach out to Representatives.
    Melanie
    President - Affiliate Advocacy 2008 ShareaSale Performance Industry Advocate Award, 2009 Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Award - Affiliate Advocate
    Affiliate Advocacy
    NYAffiliateVoice Seery Writing

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    The map is working for me in FF (mac).

    One thing about watching last night's vote is that many of them thought of affiliates as "big" corporations like Amazon, Overstock, Target, etc.

    They need to know that there are also small affiliates out there earning a living like the small pop and mom shops as well, and these can be seen as small brick and mortar business owners (but without an actual physical shop). Let them know that it will hurt many small business owners as well.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador sjangro's Avatar
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    I watched the whole thing last night and it was really eye opening. I don't know if it's available to watch now, but if it is, I recommend it. Should be required for anyone who is planning to talk to politicians, like sports teams watching game tapes.

    They focus way too much on Amazon. "Amazon already taxes Coloradans for Target. They have the technology already." Yeah, but not thousands of other merchants.

    I'd classify the whole thing was very painful to watch. Though a couple of the republican reps got it.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador delsol's Avatar
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    I agree very interesting to watch.

    I just spoke with my congreesman a dem. He told me the real vote for the house is this Monday (2/1/2010). Not sure what we were watching on Friday (practice ?). It will probably be on TV same link.

    He voted against 1193 Friday. He seems pretty confident that he get can the addtional 3 to 4 dems required to defeat the bill.

    If the 1193 passes the house on Monday then we get to do this all over again with the senators.

  6. #6
    Full Member jgoode's Avatar
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    HI delsol, I am also in Colorado and trying to organize a group of us to head to the capital building - along with other tactics that are being discussed. Would love to talk to you more - working together seems to make significant strides.

    email me - if you would please - jengoode (at) comcast.net

    thanks a bunch,

    jen
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  7. #7
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    Delsol can you PM me which representatives (by name) you are talking about.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Stephanie Lichtenstein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjangro
    I watched the whole thing last night and it was really eye opening. I don't know if it's available to watch now, but if it is, I recommend it. Should be required for anyone who is planning to talk to politicians, like sports teams watching game tapes.

    They focus way too much on Amazon. "Amazon already taxes Coloradans for Target. They have the technology already." Yeah, but not thousands of other merchants.

    I'd classify the whole thing was very painful to watch. Though a couple of the republican reps got it.
    I would love to watch this. If it becomes available to watch online please lmk.
    @MicroSteph | Stephanie Lichtenstein
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  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador delsol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie Lichtenstein
    I would love to watch this. If it becomes available to watch online please lmk.
    It is incredible to watch. Even the other bills were amazing to watch. How a bunch of people in a small room make decisions that will impact the lifes of so many people. The scary part is most don't really know what they are talking about. Let me take that back. Most democrats (i voted for them) did not seem to understand. The candy tax for example is really complex.

    Snicker bar: taxable
    KitKat: Not taxable (it contains flour)
    Strawberry: Not taxable
    Strawberry dipped in Chocolat: taxable
    Cookie dough ice cream: Not taxable (it goes in the freezer)
    Chocolate fudge: Not taxable
    Chocolate fudge stored in the fridge: taxable

    How other those poor merchant going to handle something like that?

    Crazy I tell you.

    The live video should be here:
    http://coloradohouse.granicus.com/Me...p?publish_id=2

    In Colorado people can also watch this live on comcast channel 165.

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador sjangro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by delsol
    It is incredible to watch. Even the other bills were amazing to watch. How a bunch of people in a small room make decisions that will impact the lifes of so many people. The scary part is most don't really know what they are talking about. Let me take that back. Most democrats (i voted for them) did not seem to understand. The candy tax for example is really complex.

    Snicker bar: taxable
    KitKat: Not taxable (it contains flour)
    Strawberry: Not taxable
    Strawberry dipped in Chocolat: taxable
    Cookie dough ice cream: Not taxable (it goes in the freezer)
    Chocolate fudge: Not taxable
    Chocolate fudge stored in the fridge: taxable

    How other those poor merchant going to handle something like that?

    Crazy I tell you.

    The live video should be here:
    http://coloradohouse.granicus.com/Me...p?publish_id=2

    In Colorado people can also watch this live on comcast channel 165.
    I was riveted by the candy stuff. I could not believe the logic that went into what's taxable or not. As she was reading down the list.

    "Licorice: taxable"

    to which I thought "NOOOOO!!!. Twizzlers has flour!"
    (as anyone allergic to gluten will tell you)

    It certainly set my expectations well for the Affiliate tax bill discussion which was even more painful when it wasn't such a fun topic as candy and soda.

  11. #11
    Newbie nsusa's Avatar
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    Anyone up to give money for a full (double) page ad in the Denver Post? I am a small time affiliate, but heck I throw $200 or more in the pool.

    The media coverage is spotty and only high level. The moron comments at 9News.com will motivate no-one to consider them voter feedback + the articles disappear so fast, it is a shame.

    I think if we can raise the public pressure it might help. It is also important to get the entire tax package into the public. The dems are pushing this through trying to keep the public in the darkness. Does it make sense to send a news tip to 9news and the Denver Post with links to all the different blogs and forums discussing the impact + the link to the Rhode Island Newspaper where they say "no revenue for the state generated" ?

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador delsol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nsusa
    Anyone up to give money for a full (double) page ad in the Denver Post? I am a small time affiliate, but heck I throw $200 or more in the pool.

    The media coverage is spotty and only high level. The moron comments at 9News.com will motivate no-one to consider them voter feedback + the articles disappear so fast, it is a shame.

    I think if we can raise the public pressure it might help. It is also important to get the entire tax package into the public. The dems are pushing this through trying to keep the public in the darkness. Does it make sense to send a news tip to 9news and the Denver Post with links to all the different blogs and forums discussing the impact + the link to the Rhode Island Newspaper where they say "no revenue for the state generated" ?
    I can give some.

    Big time CO affiliates:
    www.shopathome.com
    www.memolink.com

    What are the prices?
    How can make an effective design?
    We would need a web site for poeple to read more...

    They did this on purpuse we barely learned of this a week ago.

  13. #13
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    The whole, "if it's an electronic referral, it's not taxable, but if you talk about it IRL, it is taxable" just muddies the water further. I have affiliate links on my blogs. If someone I meet IRL says they're looking for something, and I mention I have a link to that on my blog, my electronic link turns into a taxable property.

    The definition of in-state and out-of-state companies is not completely clear. What if Business A has registered their business in Colorado, but all their websites are hosted in Texas, and they have an affiliate link for a company registered in Florida, whose websites are hosted in California, and a purchase is made by someone in Nevada, whose ISP originates in Utah? Will the tax-collectors move to charge tax on any transaction that crosses state lines? What about Business B, registered in Florida, whose websites are hosted in Colorado? Where will they pay these taxes?

  14. #14
    Newbie nsusa's Avatar
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    No merchant will fall for that amendment. Since they "can" (questionable) be subpoenad (spelling?) they will not risk anything and rather cut ties to all affiliates in question.

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