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Criticism Amps Up on Both Sides After Amazon Fallout

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The Twitterverse has been wild with posts about Amazon’s decision to dump its Colorado-based associates because of a new bill that imposes an online sales tax.

The reactions are predictably negative, notes State Bill Colorado, with posters complaining about Ritter and Democrats who backed the bill. But Ritter has some allies, too, including the left-leaning ProgressNow Colorado, which is calling on state residents to boycott Amazon.

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“It’s true that online sales have enjoyed preferential tax benefits in many areas, giving them a needed competitive advantage during the industry’s early years,” the group’s blog states. “But today, the logic of that approach has been turned on its head: Online sales are proliferating while Main Street goes out of business.”

Carol Hedges, senior policy analyst for the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, also points the finger of blame at Amazon, not Ritter, in a column for The Huffington Post. She writes: “Amazon is trying to bully Colorado to keep the state from collecting the sales tax it’s due. Are we going to succumb to Amazon’s pressure and forget about the sales tax? Or can we convince Amazon to obey the law?”

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The Denver Business Journal’s Greg Avery is skeptical, reporting that online gift retailer Hammacher Schlemmer is also cutting off its local affiliates and that it’s “unlikely” the state legislature will budge on the tax.

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