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    Entries in Kalamazoo (1)

    Friday
    Aug052016

    The Week in Public Finance: The Netflix Tax, Another Atlantic City Rescue and More

    A roundup of money (and other) news governments can use.
    BY  AUGUST 5, 2016

    Taxing Netflix

    Pennsylvania this week became one of a few states that taxes online streaming video services like Netflix and and Hulu, a development that has consumers complaining but other governments watching closely.

    The expansion of the state’s 6 percent sales tax was part of a revenue package passed earlier this year to fill a $1.3 billion hole in the state’s new $31.5 billion budget. Pennsylvania also extended the sales tax to digital downloads like music and ebooks. Sixteen other states already do that, but it has proven difficult to tax streaming services.

    Last year, Alabama lawmakers tabled a study that would have expanded its 4 percent digital downloads tax to streaming services. Vermont looked at the issue but then the technology was more akin to a service than a tangible good. Massachusetts passed a wide-ranging technology tax in 2013 that was quickly repealed after the tech industry complained of the difficulties of complying to it. (For the record, Florida does apply a small communications tax to streaming services.)

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