Huge Win for Minnesota Small Business as the Affiliate Nexus Tax Law Fails to Pass

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The Performance Marketing Association is elated 4,500 of Minnesota’s small businesses will not be victims of nexus tax legislation

Rebecca Madigan, executive director, Performance Marketing Association

Today is a great day. Small businesses triumphed against the tremendous lobbying pressure and home state advantage brought by giant Minnesota retailers, Target and Best Buy.

The 2012 adjournment of the Minnesota Legislative session earlier today, signals to 4,500 of Minnesota’s small businesses they will not be victims of nexus tax legislation, which according to the Performance Marketing Association would have devastated a vibrant and growing segment of Minnesota’s economy, online affiliate marketing.

Rebecca Madigan, executive director of the Performance Marketing Association, (PMA), stated, “Today is a great day. Small businesses triumphed against the tremendous lobbying pressure and home state advantage brought by giant Minnesota retailers, Target and Best Buy. We are gratified the Minnesota Legislature recognized such legislation would only harm small online businesses; it wouldn't compel any online retailers to collect sales tax; it wouldn't 'level the playing field' as touted, and, it is unconstitutional. Clearly, the Minnesota Legislature understands that only Congress has the power to implement sales tax reform that would make it constitutional to tax Internet sales.”

In fact, a recent Illinois Sub-Circuit Court 6 (Case Number: No. 2011 CH 26333) determined a similar statute to be unconstitutional and premature, given the Congressional moratorium related to Internet tax fairness. Judge Robert Lopez Cepero’s order can be found here.

PMA notes that currently there are 2 bills with high likelihood of passage in the Federal arena in 2012: H.R. 3179 “The Marketplace Equity Act” (Womack/Speier); and S. 1832, “The Marketplace Fairness Act” (Enzi/Alexander and Durbin). These bills would allow Minnesota, and all states, to collect sales tax from Internet transactions.

Carrie Rocha, owner of, a website that equips visitors with the tools to live within their means so they can get out and stay out of debt, stated, “The Minnesota Legislature is to be commended on its leadership on this issue in recognizing this legislation would have harmed our state’s small business community. Clearly, our elected officials understand commerce can and should occur in a myriad of ways, and it’s time for Main Street and Internet retailers to work together to offer consumers in Minnesota, and nationally, the variety and value they deserve.”

According to PMA, Minnesota is home to 4,500 affiliate marketing businesses. Affiliate Marketers are companies that earn income from ads placed on their websites. In 2010, Minnesota affiliate marketers earned $350 million and paid $25 million in state income taxes (plus business taxes, employment taxes, etc.). Affiliate nexus tax legislation, if passed, would have resulted in financial devastation to these Minnesota companies, forcing them into layoffs, moving out of state or shuttering their businesses.

“PMA continues to support working with other stakeholders in forging and supporting a federal solution that is equitable for all businesses and consumers. A federal solution will result in allowing over 70,000 devastated companies across the nation to get back in business – and will save 4,500 Minnesota businesses from being harmed. We are confident as we move forward there will be success on the Federal front and until then states should defer to the Congressional moratorium on Internet tax fairness,” Madigan concluded.

About the PMA
The Performance Marketing Association (PMA) is a not-for-profit trade association founded in 2008 to connect, inform and advocate on behalf of performance marketing, a multi-billion-dollar marketing channel that which comprises more than 200,000 businesses and individuals. Continued growth of the performance marketing space is expected as advertisers, facing small budgets and big expectations, increasingly look to performance-based marketing initiatives to expand their business. Additional information is available at:

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Shelly Sullivan
Shelly Sullivan PR & Media Consulting
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