Unfortunately, with the threat of the California budget hanging over their heads like Damocles sword, the first merchant has pulled their affiliate program from California.
According to David Lewis of Cashbaq.com, Overstock.com sent a boiler plate rejection letter out to their affiliates via CJ’s internal email this afternoon.
I’m sorry to see the impasse come to this, but Democratic legislators flat out refused to see the light here and as other large and small companies follow suit, we will simply see more money leaving the state.
I would urge affiliates that receive these sorts of removal letters to send them directly to your representatives and ask them point blank why they stood idly by and did nothing to protect your business, your income, and your families from financial devastation.
Here is the full text of the “official” letter from Overstock that affiliates received tonight:
June 30, 2009
We regret to inform you that the North Carolina, Rhode Island, California and Hawaii state legislatures have or are about to pass unconstitutional tax nexus and collection laws in an attempt to force Internet retailers to collect and remit sales tax on all sales to residents of these states.
These legislative measures purport to establish a state tax nexus on the basis of contracts with local advertising affiliates, even when none exists under U.S. Supreme Court precedent. Overstock.com, Inc. (“Overstock”) has no tax nexus in any state other than Utah.
Due to the passage or eminent passage of these unconstitutional laws, Overstock regretfully must discontinue its relationships with all of its advertising affiliates in these states.
Accordingly, it is with reluctance that Overstock hereby gives notice of termination of your participation in Overstock’s Affiliate Program.
Any money owed to you, based on your advertising services prior to termination, will be paid in the normal course of business.
Overstock regrets that it has been put in this position. In the future should these laws be vetoed, declared unconstitutional, or repealed, we will cheerfully resume our former business relationship.
Jonathan E. Johnson III