Friday, April 2, 2010

Hey Colorado: Stop Backdoor Taxation!

by Kristopher Hite

Though this blog has brought me a lot of good things - Publication, Publicity, and (perceived) Participation in democracy - one thing it has never brought me is money. This is a fact I'm totally OK with because I love writing and posting my thoughts here.  Lord knows I've tried to monetize this site in the past. But never once have I received a paycheck from any affiliate program in which I've enrolled: Amazon, Adsense, Powell's Books, Share-a-sale etc.

But now, even if I did have a breakthrough insight that rocked the internet and was dugg, facebooked, and tweeted all over the planet I would not be able to make a dime because the State of Colorado has decided to continue their campaign of backdoor taxation.  Rather than just being honest with people and saying

"Hey Colorado residents, there are more of you now and y'all need more things like roads, schools, fire departments etc.  Therefore, we need to increase your taxes a smidge."

NO, the state does not do this, they just keep adding on all these taxes to the little things that everyday people get hit with the hardest.  Example:  car registration.  It costs me over $100 to register my car here every 12 months.  In New York, where I grew up, you paid $60 every 3 years.  Sure the State of Colorado appears to be light on taxation (Property tax is 7-10 times lower here than in New York) but in reality the backdoor tax practices the state uses hurts lower and middle class people DISPROPORTIONATELY. 

So why I'm I complaining about this here?  Here is a copy of the e-mail I just received from Powell's Books telling my that my Powell's Partnership is terminated because of Colorado's new tax law.


"Dear Powell's Partner:

It is with great regret that we are terminating your participation in the Powell's Book, Inc. Partnership Program. We are doing this because the recent change to Colorado's tax code - HB 10-1193 - is too burdensome to continue to profitably work with our Colorado-based partners.

These new sales tax regulations do not require Powell's Books to collect sales tax. Rather they mandate that we send a letter to all Colorado residents who purchase from Powells.com or our partners informing them of their sales tax obligation. Likewise, the law requires Powells.com to send a similar letter to the state of Colorado informing the state of the tax burden of each Colorado resident who is a Powells.com or partner customer. The complication and expense of performing these actions makes participation with our Colorado partners unprofitable for a business of our size.

We encourage you to contact your elected officials to encourage them to repeal this regulation. If Colorado repeals the law or changes it to allow online retailers to collect sales tax in a way that is not so burdensome, we will happily reinstate you into our Partnership Program.

Your account has been closed as of April 2, 2010, and we will no longer pay commissions for customers you refer to Powells.com after that date. All qualifying commissions earned prior to April 2, 2010, will be processed and a check will be sent to you in accordance with our regular payment schedule. Based on your account closure date of April 2, any final payments will be paid by April 30, 2010.

Thank you for participating in the Powell's Partnership Program. If regulations change in the state of Colorado, we hope to do business with you again.

Sincerely,

The Powell's Partnership Program Team"


See all the little book covers on the right sidebar of this page?  Those used to link to the Powell's sites selling each book, if a web surfer was to buy a book from Powell's after clicking on one of those images I would have received a 7% commission. No more.

So what, who cares, why are you still reading this?


BECAUSE these backdoor taxes hurt low income people and simply benefit the wealthy content guardians of dead-tree yesteryear.  Historical power centers have remained and stagnated into stinking corruption  for centuries because those in power, without fail, end up taxing those who can not afford to defend themselves. Well with the light of the internet, my keyboard and fingers, I hold a giant middle finger up at the law makers that passed HB 10-1193.  As my Grandmother would say, SHAME, SHAME, SHAME on YOU!


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