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  1. #1
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    Unhappy SB 7206 introduced in Florida Senate
    On Thursday the Florida Senate introduced bill SB 7206 that would require online retailers to collect the state's 6 percent sales tax. The effective date would be July 1, 2012.

    I'm so upset about this news. I moved from Illinois to Florida last year after Illinois passed a similar law.

    They say that the bill faces an uphill battle as no legislators want to increase taxes in an election year, but I have a bad feeling about this.

    Gov. Rick Scott has said that he will only consider an online tax if it was revenue neutral, meaning it would be offset by tax relief for consumers. One of the proposals introduced Thursday would offset the tax hike with some sort of consumer tax break. The Department of Revenue would track the amount of money brought in and consumers would get a tax break roughly equal to that amount. (Source: Lawmakers weigh bills to create online sales tax - Florida - MiamiHerald.com)

    Traditional retailers and their trade groups are lobbying hard for the legislation, arguing that Amazon is exploiting a tax loophole to gain an unfair pricing advantage. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., for instance, calls the issue its top legislative priority in Florida this year. (Source: Senate takes first step toward forcing Amazon to pay tax – Central Florida Political Pulse – Orlando Sentinel)

    Why are these legislators so stupid? Don't they see that, as in other states, Amazon and other online retailers will simply end their affiliate programs in Florida and remove themselves from this bill's grasp? This will not 'level the playing field with brick-and-mortar stores' as they say, but it will cause lots of affiliates to lose part of their income or force them out of state. This is so depressing.

    What can I do? In Illinois I called, and wrote lots of letters and emails to legislators and later the governor when it was on his desk ... but what can you do against Wal-Mart lobbyists? I've already emailed my local legislator here and think I will write letters to each senator this week, not that I think it will do any good.
    Last edited by Chuck Hamrick; February 6th, 2012 at 12:20 PM. Reason: Updated links and approved post

  2. #2
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    There are actually two Florida Senate bills: SB 7206 and SB 1514. They both mention nexus and affiliates:

    Senate Bill 7206 (2012) - The Florida Senate
    Senate Bill 1514 (2012) - The Florida Senate

  3. #3
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    February 21st, 2012
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    I'm so upset. I live in FL and I just got this email from Gilt Groupe, one of the primary affiliate programs I use on my website. If these bills have not passed yet - what the hell is this all about? It says CURRENT Nexus tax laws. What do the current laws state that would cause them to kill their affiliate program for ALL these states? Grrrr...

    ____

    Hi Liane,
    Thank you for your interest in working with the Gilt Groupe Affiliate Program. Unfortunately due to the current Nexus tax laws, Gilt is unable to work with publishers residing in Arkansas, Connecticut, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Vermont. As such, we will be expiring your relationship with the Gilt Groupe Affiliate Program, effective 2/28/2012.
    If at any time your state residency changes, please reach out and let us know. We sincerely apologize for this circumstance and greatly appreciate your interest in working with Gilt Groupe!
    Thanks,
    Colleen


    Colleen Lynch
    Associate Account Manager

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SampleSaleSites View Post
    I'm so upset. I live in FL and I just got this email from Gilt Groupe, one of the primary affiliate programs I use on my website. If these bills have not passed yet - what the hell is this all about? It says CURRENT Nexus tax laws. What do the current laws state that would cause them to kill their affiliate program for ALL these states? Grrrr...
    I'm sorry, that sucks. It must be a mistake. As far as I know the laws have not yet passed in Florida and I hope they never will. Have you contacted them yet to ask what they are talking about?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by arthurw View Post
    There are actually two Florida Senate bills: SB 7206 and SB 1514. They both mention nexus and affiliates:

    Senate Bill 7206 (2012) - The Florida Senate
    Senate Bill 1514 (2012) - The Florida Senate
    Just FYI - Last action for SB 7206 was on 02/02/2012 when it was Submitted as committee bill by Budget Subcommittee on Finance and Tax (SB 2098) - it's not going anywhere.

    As for SB 1514 - last action was on 02/21/2012 when the Senate had the first reading. It would have to go through the senate and get through the FL house then be signed by the governor.

    So the email is premature at best, otherwise it's grossly misinformed. PM me and I'll be happy to talk to you offline about the affiliate program I run.

    Chris Douglas
    Plaid Skirt Marketing Aff. Program Manager

  6. #6
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    Damn! Here we go again.
    In order to get the attention of a mule, you need to hit him with a 2x4 between the ears. I guess it is time to drag out the 2x4 from the closet again.

    I also find it interesting that Wal-mart is so intent on seeing nexus passed in Florida since they have an affiliate program and every local retailer hates the company. Dumb and Dumber!

    Lou in Florida

  7. #7
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Does anyone actually make money from the Wal-mart affiliate program? I've tried buying from them online and found it painful! Seems they have been replacing online execs for the last year.

  8. #8
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    Last year, Illinois Governor Quinn eventually signed an affiliate tax bill into law siding with the big box stores, despite all the efforts of PMA and some big Illinois-based affiliate companies like FatWallet and ShareASale. Wal-mart was one of the major backers of the bill and made it all about 'main street fairness', as if Wal-mart is suddenly rooting for the survival of mom & pop stores ... how hypocritical is that? When Amazon threatened to drop its Illinois affiliates (which they eventually did), Wal-mart even sent out a press release welcoming all former Amazon affiliates! I think they did the same in California. As if their affiliate program is any kind of replacement for all the affiliate programs that were terminated in the state.

    At the request of the Governor, a website Alliance for Main Street Fairness was enacted, which was meant to help Illinois affiliates expand their customer bases. But if you look at the site now there is nothing to help affiliates and it just promotes internet taxes.

    With Wal-mart now lobbying Florida legislators and an affiliate tax being their top legislative priority, I fear the same thing is going to happen here. How can we as affiliates possibly fight big corporations like Wal-mart?

  9. #9
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    Pac
    Arthur:
    I've been at the political game going back to 1967 as a Political Science student. That's a long time. The answer to your question is simple:

    The PMA does the best that it can with limited resources. It is well-intentioned but toothless. It is, as Shakespeare put it in Macbeth, ... "full of sound and fury signifying... nothing."

    You want to kill nexus? The answer is spelled... P-A-C as in Political Action Committee. Get every network to include in their sign-up process a section on the threat of nexus legislation. In that same section, provide the means for affiliates to contribute a suggested donation of $20 or more to allow the PMA to fight the threat through a separately organized PAC. The networks should also promote the request for donations from existing affiliates as a deduction from their accounts to go to the PMA-PAC. Lastly, go to the companies with indie programs and get their support. Will the networks and companies do it? Doubt it. I don't believe they can see the big picture. Would it be enough? Don't know. What I do know is that the affiliate industry is currently fractured, politically weak and ripe for political cannon fodder. We have no standing. The language of politics is MONEY. For those affiliates who say that it is not fair and legislatures shouldn't pick on the little guy trying to make a little extra money for his family, go cry somewhere else. You don't bring a knife to a gunfight. Power does not exist for fairness. It exists for its own sake and is fed by money.

    Sorry for the cruel reality show; but that's the way it is. The pen may be mightier than the sword; but only when it is signing thousands of dollars in campaign contributions. Here endeth the lesson.

  10. #10
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    BTW. Every time I have tried to discuss the PAC idea, I have been shot down by every affiliate that I mentioned it to. Why am I not surprised.

  11. #11
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    Florida Nexus Update
    Just an update to the Florida nexus situation, as of March 9, 2012, S.7206 and its successor bill, S.2098 as well as S.1514, H.861, H.1085 and S.1352, all dealing with the sales tax issue, have died in various committees.

    This is only a temporary stay of execution since it is an election year. The nexus snake will probably raise its ugly head again next year. For those in Florida, your ground roots campaign targets are the sponsors of these bills including State Senator Detert, Rep. Horner and Rep. Steube if they are still there after the election. Turn their heads around on the issue and you will have accomplished a lot. They and their co-sponsors are the head of the nexus snake.

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