New Yorkers may soon need to pay more for streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Spotify and Audible.
WGRZ reports that on Thursday the New York State Assembly submitted a budget proposal that would add an 8% general sales tax to digital media subscriptions for video, music and audiobook platforms. Four percent is state sales tax and the remaining 4 percent is local sales tax.
Under the proposal, other media or “digital products” that are “delivered, broadcast or made available electronically or digitally” would be taxed. This will mainly affect cord cutters; cable and satellite television as well as newspapers and magazines will be excluded.
WKBW says most of the money will go towards spending at the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) in New York. Approximately $63 million will be raised for the MTA by 2026–2027, with approximately $46 million going towards public transportation across the state.
New York State Assemblyman Stephen Hawley (R, C-Batavia) said he opposed the Democratic-led Assembly’s proposal.
“I think it’s just another example of the need for more money or revenue for all the new programs they come up with that were extensions,” Hawley told WKBW. “It makes absolutely no sense… Attacking every person who has this type of device on their TV or computer is simply unwise and really targets the working men and women of our state.”
Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes (D-Buffalo) told WGRZ that the final state budget should be passed by April 1, but hopes the tax proposal will be included.
“I know how desperate the MTA is for resources, and frankly, I know how desperate the NFTA is for additional resources,” Peoples-Stokes said. “If you are talking to a person who drives a car and who never needs to use the bus, he will probably ask: “Why is there a new tax?” But if you talk to someone who rides the bus everywhere, they’ll say, “Oh, yes, we need public transportation support.”