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California Towns Eye Tax on Netflix, Other Video Streaming Services

California Towns Eye Tax on Netflix, Other Video Streaming Services

(AP Photo)

By    |   Monday, 28 November 2016 06:18 PM

Dozens of California cities, hoping to bolster revenue, are considering a controversial tax on video streaming services like Netflix, the New York Times reported.

Pasadena – the first to announce it wanted the so-called Netflix tax – would treat those services like a traditional utility, and tax it at 9.4 percent, the Times reported.

Though no California city has yet to begin collecting the tax, about 40 have sought advice on how it would work – with public officials arguing it is unfair people who get video through cable television are taxed, while those who have shifted over to internet streaming services are not, the Times reported.

The tax is facing stiff resistance.

"Websites and apps are not utilities, and it defies logic to tax them like electricity, water or gas," Noah Theran, a spokesman for the Internet Association, a trade group, told the Times.

Pasadena councilman Tyron Hampton, who opposed the tax, said officials should be looking for ways to raise money – but not with web-based taxes.

"The basic tenet of the internet is that the internet is supposed to be free," he told the Times.

According to CBS News, Chicago is currently being sued for charging a 9 percent tax on video streaming. And Pennsylvania is charging a 6 percent sales tax on everything, from apps to downloads, to help close a $1.3 billion budget gap.

"Where do we stop, is it Hulu, is it Netflix, Pandora, every time you stream music in your car?" Hampton told CBS News. "I mean where does it stop?"

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Dozens of California cities, hoping to bolster revenue, are considering a controversial tax on video streaming services like Netflix, the New York Times reported.
california, towns, eye, tax, video, streaming, services
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2016-18-28
Monday, 28 November 2016 06:18 PM
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