Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Wisconsin Wants To Tax All Internet Downloads?

from the just-'cause dept

As with many tax proposals there doesn't seem to be much of a justification for this, but Wisconsin's governor wants to put a 5% tax on all downloaded media. About the only justification seems to be that a buyer would pay a similar sales tax if they bought something at a local store. Of course, the original justification for the local sales tax was that people were making use of public goods, such as the roads that took them to the store. That's not true any more when you're just downloading something. Of course, as with sales tax on stuff purchased out-of-state via e-commerce sites, this tax would be voluntary -- meaning no one would pay it. Still, that won't stop the governor's political opponents from letting everyone know that the governor wants to "tax their iPod." With that in mind, you have to wonder why it was proposed at all. It's clear no one will pay it, and it gives plenty of ammo to political opponents.

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  • identicon
    Sofa King Stoned, 10 Mar 2005 @ 11:22am


    Do I get a refund for uploads?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Johnathan, 10 Mar 2005 @ 2:10pm

      Re: Refund

      I already get taxed at 6 percent when I buy iTunes here in Indiana. As far as I know, Apple is (at least) charging normal sales tax on downloads in every state where they have a physical presence (Apple Store). I wouldn't be shocked to find out that they simply go ahead and charge everyone in the US sales tax.
      However, I am opposed to any state trying to have a separate/larger/additional tax on digitally downloaded items. I am in favor of enforcing existing laws and treating downloads (of software and the like) as mail order purchases for which it is the purchaser's responsibility to submit taxes to the appropriate state authority.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ralph the Wizard, 10 Mar 2005 @ 3:24pm

    It's been a long winter.

    I'm in Wisconsin. (I can tell by all the snow on the ground outside.)

    There's a budget crunch going on at the state level and politicians are grasping at straws trying to find new sources of revenue.

    Somebody in the governors's office got carried away when they made their suggestion of taxing the Internet.

    Just so you know, we're not all fools here in Wisconsin. It's the long winters that drives some people stir-crazy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Mar 2005 @ 12:35am

      Re: It's been a long winter.

      Yah, but Wisconsin is known for having outrageously high state taxes already anyway… the last thing a rural Midwestern state suffering from rural flight needs to do is provide MORE incentives for people to leave and or stay away… and I say that as a person considering moving to Wisconsin.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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