The Georgia legislators consider tax on streaming, music, e-books

Drop on screen near you: Tax on Netflix and just download or burn everything else.

Georgia's workforce, with many wholesalers taking the state Capitol, suffers for tax on videos, books, music and digital video games.

This means that you pay more for Netflix ebooks, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Kindle, iTunes music, Spotify and internet phone services.

Internet messengers and providers see it as a huge pool of unexpected cash that could be used to build subsidy internet lines in the low economic rural parts of the state.

The price would be paid to those already attached: The cost of the tax would be 4 per cent, but the benefits of rural residents who do not have high speed of online products.

Georgia is the latest state to consider extensive tax on internet services, a virtual gold mine for governments seeking to raise money to spend rural areas that firms and residents have steadily lost to Atlanta and other cities. Only a few other states have cut this type of tax to date, but similar suggestions have been introduced into legislatures throughout the country.

Both Government, Brian Kemp and Government Minister Geoff Duncan have noticed their idea.

The current customer proposal opposes communications companies such as AT & T, which are in profit because digital tax would replace higher taxes, cable television, mobile phones and broadband equipment.

Rural-urban division

About 66 percent of the Georgians are opposing the idea of ​​taxing internet, television and telephone services to raise money for rural internet, according to state-of-state polls made by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

"We have made a lot of money in the city," said Beverly Barnes, quoting on the Atlantic questioned on the poll. "I look at my cell and mobile phone bill, and I see that we have a lot of fees. Most people move to the country because it's cheaper there. Let them pay for that."

But state representative Jay Powell, chairman of the House of House Rules Committee, said customers would avoid sales taxes on digital products, and creating inequalities between old and new technologies. For example, a book purchased at a store is subject to sales taxes, but you can download an e-book free of charge from tax.

He said that those with high-speed access should pay tax to support Georgians who do not have high-speed internet, who need business, education and healthcare.

"We are part of the same state, and we help each other," said Powell, a Republican from Camilla. "If Atlanta's benefits are, then, the benefit of the rest of Georgia. If the rural section of Georgia benefits, then the benefits of Atlanta. We are all together."

The total committee room as Jay Powell's state-of-the-art tax bill brings to the House and Media Routes Subcommittee on Public Finance and Policy in Georgia Capital in February 2018. Georgia's citizens pay tax on each from Netflix to e-books, from internet phones to satellite TV service. Legislators say money funded for the financing of the tax for the construction of rural internet lines. PHOTO / JASON GETZ
(The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Disability about new taxes

Cable, television and cell phones companies have almost 60 lobbying arguing that equity is not justly taxed on all services. Currently, taxes and fees include cable television and telephones but not satellite and internet video.

The resistance comes from legislators that oppose new tax, consumers who pay the tax and Dias Television, which does not benefit from government funding on the rural internet since it already provides satellite online access to those areas . Before the similar digital tax project failed last year, Dish TV did not want TV ads to "Stop the Georgia TV tax!"

Legislation for the tax proposal has not yet been introduced in Georgia, but a bill is from a group of rural law makers from countries that have a preliminary impact on the internet. They say that state government must spread around some of the Atlanta economic meteorological success. Other ideas are uncomfortable with the idea of ​​tax increases.

For Netflix customer with a monthly plan of $ 12.99, 4 per cent tax per cost, 52 cents per month, or $ 6.24 per annum.

Georgians Rural, such as Twalla Whitlock, who sign up satellite internet service, said they needed internet options faster, more affordable.

"It's expensive," said Whitlock, resident of Brooks County who works in social services and responded to AJC's poll. "If there were more towers in the future, it would be cheaper. In many areas, they have a limited service."

The tax, coupled with the repeal of taxes and fees, generated $ 48 million in 2021 and reached $ 310 million by 2024, according to state estimates. Revenue was shared between state and local governments. The state part would be in the general exchequer, meaning that there is no guarantee that it would help to increase internet access in the north of George. The state can not dedicate funding without changing the Constitution of the state.

Without state financing, internet companies say it does not extend financial sense to them in areas that are not more populated, where access is spread among fewer customers. State legislators want to subsidize the costs of internet companies to contribute to regions that lack broadband service.

Less access, fewer opportunities

About 638,000 households – 16 per cent of the state – lack of internet access with at least 25 megabits speeds per second, according to the University of Georgia study.

Internet speeds in the 25 Mbps range are important to work from home, online study, download files and streamline video, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

Mr State Steve Gooch said he wants to get money for expanding the rural internet, but it is not sure that digital services tax is on the way to do it. He said funding could be obtained from an existing fund for the expansion of landline telephones, and it is against taxing satellite dishes because they do not use public rights of way.

"We should exhaust all the options and review our existing tax framework for internet, telephone, broadband and satellite services before making any decisions," said Gooch, Republican from Dahlonega.

State representative Viola Davis, DeKalb County's taxpayer's barrister, was nominated before last election, she was happy about the proposal.

"I'm really comfortable when they are trying to tax on an area and then redistribute those money to another area," said Davis, a Demonstrate from Stone Mountain. "If you make the tax, the tax will be primarily urban homeowners and internet users."

Similar technologies should be taxed equally, but it is often not satisfied when elected officials are trying to tax services such as Netflix that have been released to the government, said John Buhl, spokesman for the Tax Foundation, a Washington based thinking tank. State including Hawaiian, Pennsylvania and Washington tax streaming services.

"People think of Netflix, and they like Netflix, and they say," Why do you want to tax on my Netflix? "" Buhl said. "Past things in the past have been the services in the digital era, and they have to deal with that. Otherwise, their tax base will be less fast."

Georgia has already set sales taxes on products sold online, which came into force on January 1. But electronic goods are not yet possible.

The State Center Jay Powell provides a bill for digital tax to the Sub-Committee of Languages ​​and the Middle House on Public Finance and Policy in Georgia Capital in February 2018. Georgia's citizens are taxing everything from Netflix to e-books , from internet phones with satellite TV service. Legislators say money funded for the financing of the tax for the construction of rural internet lines. PHOTO / JASON GETZ
(The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Cable vs satellite

Cable companies support the expansion of the tax base among all television and internet customers – not just those already with cable and government franchise fees – said Stephen Cable, the Georgia Cable Association lobbyist.

"Clearly, when you get some services that pay tax and do not do other people, there is a situation of equity that needs to be addressed, especially when the services are desirable to the consumer," said Loftin. "The only difference is the technology used to deliver it."

Members of the members of the Georgia Cable Society include Communication Communications, Comcast and Cox Communications, the Cox Enterprises cable and broadband internet subsidiary, also owned by the AJC. Cox provides cable, internet and telephone services in Central America, mainly in the Macon and Warner Robins area.

AT & T is the largest telecommunication industry force at Capitol of Georgia, with the largest and most lobbying service area – 23 – according to state ethics commission records.

He wants any tax on internet services to eliminate sales tax as well as broadband equipment, saving money for telecommunications companies. Rural home legislators include the advice of broadband equipment taxes in their recommendations.

"The state should have the first step to stimulate the spread of broadband by ending economic programs and procedures imposed by the government that introduces private capital investment," said the AT & T, Ann Elsas. "When this happened, the state can assess the need for additional steps such as supplementing federal efforts to increase the use of broadband in areas of high-quality, high-cost access."

Netflix did not respond to comments for comments. Comcast asked the questions to the Georgia Cable Society.

Mias, satellite television and the internet provided the tax as a "large cable" sheet. Speech spokeswoman Mias Karen Modlin said the company was the only video and broadband stage provider, not being able to use local infrastructure.

"We hope the Legislation recognizes that innovation can be achieved without saturating satellite customers with new and non-essential taxes," Modlin said.

Charlie Hayslett, former owner of an Atlanta-based public relations firm, who is writing a book about the divide between metro and rural parts of Georgia, can be a costly cash waste for the rural broadband tax plan.

While the internet service is important for northern Georgia, it issues questions that a government subsidy would solve the connectivity problems of the area.

"I'm all in helping Georgia's countryside," said Hayslett, "but I'm also tired of being asked to sit in a gridlocked deal and that the General Assembly uses my tax money to buy pig in prison for South Georgia. "

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