In the second sign within a week that sales tax fairness is gaining ground, the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, overwhelmingly ruled in favor of the state’s affiliate nexus law passed in 2008. Late last week the U.S. Senate voted 75-24 in favor of the Marketplace Fairness Act amendment (S.336) to the FY 2014 budget resolution. Under the N.Y. law, remote retailers that do more than $10,000 in affiliate sales have to collect and remit sales tax. In a 4-1 decision, the court dismissed claims by Amazon.com and Overstock.com, which argued that the law is unconstitutional.
In a statement issued immediately after the ruling, New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Thomas H. Mattox said, “Today’s Court of Appeals Decision affirms New York State’s approach to ensure fair tax administration for both brick-and-mortar and Internet-based businesses. We commend the Court for recognizing the logical application of existing precedent to the 21st century economy.”
American Booksellers Association CEO Oren Teicher also hailed the Amazon/Overstock decision. “This victory in New York State makes even more clear that the tide is turning in favor of sales tax fairness,” he told Bookselling This Week. “The court’s decision affirms what ABA has been saying for years: that online affiliates constitute nexus in the state. In addition to leveling the playing field for New York State retailers, this ruling should make clear to other states the legality and importance of sales tax fairness legislation.”