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Saturday, September 30, 2023
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SA pursues alternatives after Amazon discontinues business line of credit

SA Senate discussed solutions Monday and temporarily amended SA’s tax exempt status on Amazon purchases

<p>The SA Senate ultimately decided to amend a policy so that students can get reimbursed for club-related Amazon purchases.&nbsp;</p>

The SA Senate ultimately decided to amend a policy so that students can get reimbursed for club-related Amazon purchases. 

The Student Association Senate held an emergency senate meeting Monday to respond to the organization’s inability to purchase from Amazon by temporarily amending its Encumbrance and Expenditure policy.

Amazon has ended all business lines of credit for Amazon Business effective mid-January, leaving the SA without a way to pay one its most popular vendors, according to Tendaji Ya’Ukuu, assistant director of SA communications. 

SA Vice President Sammi Pang said in an Jan. 18 email that Amazon currently accepts invoices by “invite only,” but SA has not heard back on its efforts to get an invite. The average annual usage of Amazon by SA for “programming, activities, events, and items” is approximately $107,000, according to the SA Senate minutes.

Clubs are still able to complete Purchase Orders for events through the UB Student Association Financial Entry System (SAFE), which provides clubs with a directory of other approved vendor options, such as Wegmans.

SA Treasurer Alana Lesczynski said that clubs could still purchase from Amazon if they decided not to use one of the approved vendors, but they would have to use personal Amazon accounts and get reimbursed by the SA.

Pang said clubs would have to file reimbursement requests “approved prior to making a purchase” and that “orders must be delivered to 360 Student Union for review and confirmation of a good receipt.”

The Encumbrance and Expenditure Policy, which states that “SA will not pay any NYS sales tax, and in the case of a reimbursement, any NYS sales tax paid will not be reimbursed, excluding those not covered by our NYS Tax Exempt status,” was temporarily amended by a majority vote from Jan. 30 through May 21, 2023.

The temporarily amended policy allows the SA treasurer to reimburse sales tax on purchases made through Amazon since personal accounts are required to pay sales tax on items purchased from Amazon.

SA President Becky Paul-Odionhin said that although the reimbursement option is available, clubs “should try every other possible avenue” that SA already has, adding that Amazon orders should be “the last resort.”

“SA understands that the solution approved on Jan. 30 is, unfortunately, not perfect,” Ya’Ukuu said. “It is meant to be a temporary solution to the problem…We are working to rectify the situation as soon as possible so SA and clubs can continue to purchase goods as usual.”

Kiana Hodge is a news editor and can be reached at



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