Home You Can’t Pad Your Pocketbook With Amazon’s Bucks If You Live In Vermont

You Can’t Pad Your Pocketbook With Amazon’s Bucks If You Live In Vermont

Did you know you could make money by referring people to Amazon from your blog, website, or social media account? It’s called Amazon Associates, and it’s a side income for hundreds of thousands of Internet users.

As of Wednesday, however, the program is no longer open to Vermont residents.  A prospective sales tax on Internet sales in the state has prompted Amazon to shutter its program preemptively, Vermont Public Radio reports.

See also: Amazon Creates New Way For Developers To Monetize Apps

Many Vermont residents used Amazon Associates to make anywhere from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars a month on commissions to Amazon, according to Vermont Public Radio. This week, each of them received an email from Amazon stating its decision to close the program as “a direct result of Vermont’s state tax collection legislation.”

“Amazon strongly supports federal legislation creating a simplified framework to uniformly resolve interstate sales tax issues,” the company wrote. “We are working with states, retailers, and bipartisan supporters in Congress to get legislation passed that would allow us to reopen our Associates program in Vermont. “

This is not a new move for the e-commerce giant. Amazon cut off more than 25,000 California affiliates in 2011, when the state government moved toward enforcing an Internet sales tax. After much backlash, the State of California agreed to a one-year delay on the tax requirement. Californians started paying sales tax on their online purchases in September 2012. For its part, Amazon reinstated the affiliate program, and agreed to create jobs and make significant investments in California facilities.

Sen. Tim Ashe, a Vermont state senator and the chairman of the Senate Finance committee, dismissed Amazon’s preemptive strike as a “bully[ing]” tactic. Ashe said Vermont’s proposed sales tax on Internet sales will not go into effect until 15 other states adopt similar provisions. Amazon’s move has incited many locals who depended on extra income from commissions, which could stifle the state senate’s plan to make this law a reality.

See also: New State Law Bumps Colorado Off Amazon’s Affiliate Map

Vermont joins Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, Missouri, and Rhode Island as places where residents are ineligible for the Amazon Associates program. 

Photo of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos by James Duncan Davidson

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