Ed Driscoll

Jerry Brown's Got a Plan to Stick it to the Man

And if you live in California, you’re the man (as am I; I received an email notification from Amazon a couple of hours ago):

Last night, California Democrats reached an agreement with Gov. Jerry Brown on a proposed state budget that, among other things, would force online retailers like Amazon.com and Overstock.com to collect sales tax in California.

Already, Amazon has made its objections clear, threatening to drop the thousands of “Amazon Associates” in California who make money by referring web users to Amazon.com to buy goods.

Pitting the wealthiest and most populous state in the union against the premier online retailing conglomerate, this is a battle of two amazons — Goliath vs. Goliath, if you will.

But caught in between are thousands of bloggers, marketers and publishers who make money through Amazon’s affiliate program, called Amazon Associates. Basically, if a blogger links to Amazon products on a post and a reader ends up buying something through that link, then the blogger gets a percentage of the sale for making the “referral.” Small retailers and marketers also use the Associates program.

All these people are at risk of being cut off from this revenue source should the California budget pass on Tuesday.


This appeared at the San Francisco Business Times, which adds, “The Business Times has editorialized that California should force Amazon and others to pay state sales taxes.”

Because the man is hiding his stash there, somewhere.

Maybe in his corporate jet.

Related: “California, a State that Has Gone Stark Raving Mad.”

Join the conversation as a VIP Member