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Arkansas Amazon Sales Tax: Legislative Study to Look at Job Loss

Updated: Apr 13

The reviews are in!

Word comes from Rep. David Meeks (R) of Conway, via Twitter, that his proposal for an interim study of the Amazon sales tax law (link opens as PDF) targeting online retailers will move forward. Meeks requested the study in July to determine the potential fiscal impact of the new law and what effect it would have on jobs. (Side note: California passed a similar nexus law this summer. Early reviews are decidedly negative.)

Meeks told me last month that, while he had voted against the bill when it came before the House of Representatives, he’s become even more convinced of its wrong-headedness and wants to see it repealed.

The new law (Act 1001 of 2011) goes into effect October 27; the interim study will help lawmakers determine with greater clarity what the effects may be. Or they can just check out The Arkansas Project library of posts on the Amazon sales tax, like this one. And this one. And this one.

The new law rests upon the presumption that since Amazon and other online retailers have contract advertising relationships with affiliate marketing partners in the state, the retailers have a “nexus” to the state that requires them to collect sales and use taxes. How did the online retailers respond to that bit of news? Easy—they ended their contracts, and so much for the presumption of nexus.

Of course, the guys who were previously making money off the contracts got shafted in the deal, but screw them and their “livelihoods,” right? They can just go find other jobs. Why, after all, the employment picture in Arkansas just gets rosier and rosier every month!:

Chart helpfully supplied by Arkansas Project fan Mr. C, who presumably is also unemployed and so has plenty of time to sit around putting together stupid-ass chart graphics all day.

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