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Overstock.com makes up with Missouri

SALT LAKE CITY — Overstock.com announced it would resume using Missouri advertisers after Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of the recently enacted affiliate nexus bill. The bill sought to recruit remote sellers into state sales tax collection if they continued to use Missouri Internet advertisers.

"In recent years, several other states have enacted similar bills on promises of increased state revenues which didn't materialize when, rather than submit to the unfair burdens of remote tax collection, out-of-state retailers instead discontinued the use of in-state advertisers," said Jonathan Johnson, executive vice chairman of Overstock.com's board of directors. "In the wake of the Missouri bill's passage, Overstock.com ended its use of Missouri advertisers, a decision which the company reversed after the governor's veto. It is clear Governor Nixon has studied the history of these attempted end-runs of constitutional law, and concluded that a federal, uniform solution is the best approach."

Johnson also said that Overstock.com has been at the forefront of seeking fair federal legislation to uniformly resolve the question of remote seller state tax collection, but has strongly opposed the current version of the Marketplace Fairness Act, which recently passed out of the U.S. Senate without a hearing. Overstock.com insists that the bill does not live up to the "fairness" promise of its title.

"The company has emphasized that the bill in its current form will do nothing to stop the states from adding to their 'patchwork' of conflicting and complex laws among the more than 9,600 taxing districts nationwide," added Johnson. "We need a uniform federal solution that simplifies state sales tax collection, provides for fair compensation to remote sellers collecting the states' tax and prevents states from ignoring federal law and trying to enforce constitutionally questionable state laws."

Johnson concluded that the company expects several states, following Missouri's lead, to turn away from the "failed method of trying to craft their own solutions" in favor of joint cooperation with the U.S. Congress and business to resolve the issues Overstock.com has highlighted.