Don't Tax Affiliates, Be Affiliates

Okay, I ranted long and hard when North Carolina passed it's own legislation that caused Amazon to shut down it's affiliate program in the state. So now that Colorado has decided to be equally as stupid, let me just encapsulate my previous argument. Maybe I just used too many words before and you legislators out there just couldn't understand me. So here it is:

Being an affiliate offers your state more potential revenue than forcing out-of-state retailers to collect and pay your sales tax.

This is a shoe-string business in the first place. I know the arguments and they all make sense on paper, but for God's sake, you probably lose more money to unpaid sales tax at flea markets in your state than you do to affiliates.

But the most important thing to remember is that affiliate programs are open to everyone, including you!

Now why should this interest those in state governments? Well, in the case of Amazon you have one of the biggest potential affiliations anywhere right under your nose. You call it your library system. And it's just waiting to be tapped as a huge source of revenue.

What if every book in your online catalog, included a "buy it now" button that linked to the Amazon catalog. What would happen? Well, allow me to predict that you would quickly become the biggest affiliate in your state. Better yet, add multiple options for "buy now" and include some state book shops as well. I'm sure they'd love a kick-back program of their own.

Further, did you know that with the Amazon program, if a person clicks on your affiliate link, you are given credit for all their purchases for a period of time? This could generate millions for you over time, just by leveraging your existing investment in your library system. And that just one affiliate program. I'm sure you could find dozens of such synergies, not least of which isAdSense linking.

But instead, my friends in the NC and CO state houses, you have decided to tax. And the result is a pull-out of affiliate programs, meaning none of the revenue you expected, while effectively putting hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals out of business within your state.

Think, people! 

If you agree with the sentiments I've expressed here, please pass this post along and write posts of your own to this effect. We need to get someone in government to pay attention to this idea.

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