Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bloggers unite! Repeal the tax!

This is a call to action to all bloggers in the state.

Jeannine Crooks, a co-organizer of Front Range Bloggers, needs you to call or e-mail a state senator today to ask them to call up House Bill 1318 for a Senate committee hearing so the measure can be approved and sent to the governor by the end of the day tomorrow, the last day of the legislature.

HB 1318 is a repeal of legislation that resulted in 4,000 Colorado bloggers being dropped from "affiliate" programs by online merchants like Amazon, Hershey and Crayola, to name just a few.

If you think back, you'll remember that then Gov. Bill Ritter and the Democratic legislature, desperate for money to balance the state budget, passed a law that required online merchants to charge Colorado customers state sales tax. Amazon was so opposed to the law that it "fired" all its affiliates, who are online bloggers and website operators who link their customers to larger companies with different products to sell. The affiliates are paid for every click on a link to a larger seller.

"For somebody who is trying to monetize their website," said Crooks, the repeal of the tax law is the biggest issue to arise during the current legislature. "The current bill prevents you from doing that," she added.

The House passed the repeal last week, but the Senate has only the rest of today to have it considered by a committee and passed before adjournment tomorrow. The law passed last year was promoted as a way to raise $5 million in new revenue, but in the year since it was passed only about $20,000 has been collected.

Crooks said Colorado online operators have lost "several millions of dollars in sales that didn't occur" because the law caused so many major retailers to drop Colorado from their affiliate programs.

Here's a list of senators and their e-mails who Crooks said can do something about it. Give them a ping.

Sen. Irene Aguilar - 303-866-4852 - irene.aguilar.senate@state.co.us

Sen. Bob Bacon - 303-866-4841 - bob.bacon.senate@state.co.us

Sen. Betty Boyd - 303-866-4857 - betty.boyd.senate@state.co.us

Sen. Morgan Carroll - 303-866-4879 - morgan.carroll.senate@state.co.us

Sen. Joyce Foster - 303-866-4875 - joyce.foster.senate@state.co.us

Sen. Angela Giron - 303-866-4877 - angela.giron.senate@state.co.us

Sen. Lucia Guzman - 303-866-4862 - lucia.guzman.senate@state.co.us

Sen. Rollie Heath - 303-866-4872 - rollie.heath.senate@state.co.us

Sen. Mary Hodge - 303-866-4855 - mary.hodge.senate@state.co.us

Sen. Evie Hudak - 303-866-4840 - senatorhudak@gmail.com

Sen. Cheri Jahn - 303-866-4856 - cheri.jahn.senate@state.co.us

Sen. Michael Johnston - 303-866-4864 - mike.johnston.senate@state.co.us

Sen. John Morse - 303-866-6364 - john.morse.senate@state.co.us

Sen. Linda Newell - 303-866-4846 - linda.newell.senate@state.co.us

Sen. Jeanne Nicholson - 303-866-4873 - jeanne.nicholson.senate@state.co.us

Sen. Gail Schwartz - 303-866-4872 - gail.schwartz.senate@state.co.us

Sen. Brandon Shaffer - 303-866-5291 - brandon@brandonshaffer.com

Sen. Pat Steadman - 303-866-4861 - pat.steadman.senate@state.co.us

Sen. Lois Tochtrop - 303-866-4863 - lotochtrop@aol.com

Sen. Suzanne Williams - 303-866-3432 - suzanne.williams.senate@state.co.us

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