SEATTLE -- A big setback for online retailers like Amazon, after the Supreme Court said it would not referee the fight over internet sales tax.
The high court made the decision on Monday. That leaves a New York appeals court ruling intact, saying that most online retailers must collect state taxes when paying affiliates to promote links to their products.
Retailers that are based online or those that rely on phones or catalogs generally cut ties with those affiliates in order to avoid collecting the taxes.
Both Amazon and Overstock.com argued that the ruling of the New York court provides a so-called "road map" for other states to implement similar legislation.
Sales tax is crucial to state revenue. Not being able to collect money from online or phone purchases cost states about $23 billion last year.