"Netflix Tax" May Be Coming Soon To Your Bill

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by Megalith, Nov 26, 2016.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

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    While the bill is on hold due to fierce competition, one California city is trying to impose a tax on streaming services. Chicago is currently being sued for charging a 9 percent tax on video streaming, while Pennsylvania’s charging a 6 percent sales tax on everything, from apps to downloads, to help close a $1.3 billion budget gap.

    The Pasadena city council has been taking heat for weeks, after announcing a 9.4 percent tax on streaming video. They’re calling it a utility, so it can be taxed like water and electricity. “My constituents do not want this tax,” Tyron Hampton said. “Even if it is just a couple of dollars. It is being taxed twice.” Pasadena City Councilman Tyron Hampton says the surprise tax was designed to make up for lost tax revenue from people getting rid of cable TV and home phones. Hampton said, “I read it multiple times, I was like, when did this happen?”
     
  2. Exavior

    Exavior [H]ardForum Junkie

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    yeah... fuck that

    Sadly government is so corrupt and fucked up that we can never get spending fixed to a point that current taxes are enough. $1 is taxed so many times that it is crazy. You pay income tax when you make the money, then you pay sells tax. The company that gets the money from you pays taxes on it. And yet spending is so out of control that we don't have enough money still so they have to come up with more taxes.
     
  3. Twisted Kidney

    Twisted Kidney 2[H]4U

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    People wouldn't have issues with taxes if they could see where they go and they went where they were supposed to. Instead money gets hoovered up into the pet-projects, kick-backs, and slush-funds account. Especially on a local level, where the relationship between government and citizen should be the closest.
     
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  4. westrock2000

    westrock2000 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Saw a electronic billboard on the toll road this weekend that said "Your tolls have provided 45,000 meals to needy families"

    I thought tolls were for road maintenance and expansion, not wealth redistribution. This pretty much guarantees that the tolls will never end.
     
  5. Master_shake_

    Master_shake_ [H]ardForum Junkie

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    wow spend thrifty gumments trying to claw back some of the money they pissed away.

    wait. is this news?
     
  6. Exavior

    Exavior [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Yes that is what it is supposed to be for.
     
  7. tec1500

    tec1500 [H]Lite

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    People these days have too much money anyways... *rolls eyes*
     
  8. Xrave

    Xrave [H]ardness Supreme

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    My city just passed a bill to extend communication taxes to "new forms of communications", like cell phone bills, etc. Apparently the way the old law was written it could only be applied to hard wired services etc. Tax revenue had been dropping because people were cutting the cord.
     
  9. nutzo

    nutzo [H]ardness Supreme

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    Keep raising taxes on everything, an they wonder why the underground economy keeps growing?

    At least they haven't figured out a way to tax piracy yet :rolleyes:
     
  10. thesmokingman

    thesmokingman [H]ardness Supreme

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  11. Zepher

    Zepher [H]ipster Replacement

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    lol, those needy families were the road workers.
     
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  12. Dahkoht

    Dahkoht Limp Gawd

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    Shock anyone that it's a CA city proposing it ?
     
  13. Red Squirrel

    Red Squirrel [H]ardForum Junkie

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    It's ridiculous how governments are now looking at taxing specific things/services. WE ALREADY PAY SALES TAXES, stop adding taxes on top of stuff that's already being taxed. It's ridiculous.

    My favorite one is where they wanted to tax tampons, that is like so random.

    They're also talking about taxing internet here in Canada. Some % based on how much GB you use, or something. So ridiculous. I am so sick of these overreaching governments.
     
  14. MacLeod

    MacLeod [H]ardness Supreme

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    Why is it the government can never do with less money. Cutting spending is never an option. Only thing they can think of is to take more money from us.
     
  15. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

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    I'm actually surprised it took this long for the peanut gallery to take a potshot at California on this.
     
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  16. evilsofa

    evilsofa [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Do you know how I know you didn't get past the first sentence of the OP, much less read the article?
     
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  17. TechLarry

    TechLarry Can't find the G Spot

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    I bet you can follow this bill right back to your local cable company lobbyist.
     
  18. UrielDagda

    UrielDagda 2[H]4U

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    In PA this only wound up passing because Republicans shut down government and refused to pass any other budget that didn't include a tax that didn't hurt as many people as possible. They didn't want small taxes on fracking and wealthier people. It had to be something that hit everybody's wallet, especially the poor.

    Then, after schools and other publicly funded services were on the verge of going completely broke. they passed this and said they hated to pass anything with a new tax in it, and it was all the Governor's fault for not just making huge cuts in services for the elderly, disabled, education, etc instead.
     
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  19. Yep that 6% tax hit us up here in PA. Why did they have such a massive shortfall? Because Gov Wolf made MASSIVE budget increases. Most of them revolved around paying back unions which supported him during the election, including very large increases in education spending. The budget was universally voted down (Bi-partisan) by all members of the state legislature. And Wolf refused to negotiate. It created massive delays and a shut down of the government. He became known as "Little Obama" for throwing tantrums when he didn't get his way. The legislature had to capitulate as the government was facing shutdown. They slowly passed it in pieces. But a condition was "If we in the legislature are to pass it, you Tom Wolf need to find where the money will come from." Well guess what, we got a netflix tax as well as a whole new slew of other taxes. Needless to say his approval rating is astonishingly low.

    src: http://www.politicspa.com/pa-gov-quinnipiac-poll-wolfs-approval-stuck-at-disappointing-36/75343/

    Let me give you an example of how misleading some politicians are. Tom Wolf says
    src: https://www.governor.pa.gov/governor-wolfs-2016-2017-budget-address/

    That is the biggest joke of the century. Our teachers are the 2nd best paid in the United States and have THE best retirement pensions. In fact teachers receive a 100% retirement income after 20 years. That is what is breaking our backs...The pension. (https://www.psba.org/issue/pennsylvania-pension-crisis/) I alone pay $7500 in school taxes a year and I homeschool our kids because the schools are abysmal. His solution is to tax businesses more, yet we have the 2nd highest business tax rate (9.99%) in the union.

    The 6.5% fracking tax proposed by Wolf is on top of the corporate rate and would raise the effective rate to 16.49% PA has to compete with states with much lower tax rates on fracking. A large portion of them are already closing due to OPECs war on natural gas. A lot of those jobs are desperately needed where the coal industry up north has been effectively shut down by Obama. This is one of the things that caused the rural areas to come out in DROVES during the election. We had 80% attendance rate in some districts. They overwhelmingly voted against democratic policies which were ruining them. Only city centers voted for Democrats.

    The proper solution would be to fix the pension problem.

    BTW: How does that extra teacher pay working out for us? It isn't. We have one of the lowest college attendance rates per capita in the Union.

    Stupid is what stupid does. Corruption is what corruption does.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 27, 2016
  20. Exavior

    Exavior [H]ardForum Junkie

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    That "tampon tax" threw me off at first also as a WTF moment. As like you are most likely thinking I had thought they were adding a tax like they do gas or cigarettes to tampons. However once I learned what this actually was I realized it was a bunch of bullshit that was being overblown by people.

    For states that have sales tax, normally the rule is that is it is food you are not taxed, anything else is taxed. However there are a few food items that might be taxed such as candy and pop (soda, cola whatever you call it) and also there are a few non food items may not be taxed mostly things like medicine. In some states they were applying sales tax to tampon and other female products just like they would any other hygiene product like deodorant, shampoo, razors, soap. However items like toilet paper normally you don't pay sales tax on. The few other exceptions up till now have been anything medical related so sun screen and dandruff shampoo normally are tax exempt. When it came to female products some states went ahead and put them into the tax exempt column and other left them in the same category as all other hygiene products and taxed them. The tampon tax debate was people complaining that females had to pay sales tax on stuff they buy because they already make less money than men so now you are taking away more by forcing them to pay higher prices on a product that they need instead of making it tax exempt and allowing them to save those few dollars a year that the government is unfairly taking away from them. So end the end it wasn't a crazy tax that was added, it was that some states were charging sales tax like they do for anything else on tampons. Which means that it really wasn't a special tax being put on tampons, it was them charging sales tax on a product like they do everything else and a group wanted it to be tax exempt. So not as WTF as it seemed at first.

    I expect the USA to have something similar to that here pretty soon to a small degree. Right now we pay taxes on phone service, however since actual phone lines are decreasing they are planning on removing all the federal and state taxes from the phone side and move them to the internet side instead. I don't know if they will have it as a flat rate, a percent of your bill or how they will do it. Never hear that at any telecom events, just that "soon" expect the various funds to move from phone to internet as that becomes the taxable service for local carriers and not land lines.
     
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  21. gxp500

    gxp500 Gawd

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    Think of those poor cable conglomerates that are loosing money due to streaming, we have to help them out, you know... be more socialist.
     
  22. nilepez

    nilepez [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Probably the easiest tax to get around.
     
  23. westrock2000

    westrock2000 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Surprised no one has really addressed the tax itself and legality. We are legal experts here on [H] (at least as good as the local government in Pasadena Ca.), so I don't see why we can't pontificate on this.

    Has anyone ever been taxed specifically for the water used to wash their face?

    Has anyone ever been taxed specifically for the electricity used to power their radio?

    No. You would be taxed on ALL of the utility service used.

    The Net Neutrality bill allowed for the FCC to consider the Internet a utility. But why the FCC? Does the FCC control any other "utility"? Here's a hint, radio, TV and cable are not utilities.

    But the contents inside a utility pipeline are regulated, as are the contents under the control of the FCC.

    So we need to stay away from calling the Internet a utility until we can be damn sure that it will remain a free conduit of knowledge and expression (and dissent).

    Going back to the tax. How would this tax be worded?

    Any service that provides streaming data over the Internet?

    I guarantee you that cable is delivered in the same manner as Netflix. It's not an analogue signal. It is a real time digital stream, complete with user authentication.

    So we don't want to tax the cable companies. So lets make the definition more stringent. How do you target Netflix, but not YouTube Red? Does the Wall Street Journal offer video content with their subscription? Do you tax that service? Do you tax renting video from iTunes or Amazon or Google? Do you tax free video? Xbox live is subscription based and streams videos, is that taxed?

    In other words, it would be such a targeted tax to Netflix or Hulu that companies and citizens would easily fight it in court.

    And how does 1 particular city enforce a non-local company to their taxes? Netflix cannot be reasonably expected to monitor and collect the tax wishes of every township in America that wants to tax it's citizens. State level is manageable, but city level???

    So how-a-bout when you have a $1+ Billion budget gap, why don't you put on your adult pants and work within your means, like much of America's tax payers have had to do over the last 15 years?

    America's cord cutting SHOULD come as a signal, that Americans simply can't afford $100 a month anymore. But no ones want to address that, because that would imply that things aren't as peachy as they say.
     
  24. westrock2000

    westrock2000 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    The best thing is that you looked it up yourself. As a similar comparison is the claim that vice president elect Mike Pence once said that money for HIV should instead be used for conversion therapy. It's a convincing claim against the man considering his background, but thanks to the Internet you can check it yourself in less then 5 minutes and find that he simply never said that.

    That's why the Internet needs to be protected as the bastion of free speech (barring extreme agreed upon subjects). Take the good with the bad.
     
  25. evilsofa

    evilsofa [H]ardForum Junkie

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    This is what the Pence campaign actually said:

    "Congress should support the reauthorization of the Ryan White Care Act only after completion of an audit to ensure that federal dollars were no longer being given to organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus. Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior."

    (source)
     
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  26. westrock2000

    westrock2000 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Thanks.

    As you can see, nothing about taking away money from anything and nothing about conversion therapy. But it sure made for a great meme.

    But anyways the point is, when a claim is made that seems pretty damning, you should as an individual person just go look it up yourself. Look at sources. If someone isn't providing sources, then wonder why.
     
  27. evilsofa

    evilsofa [H]ardForum Junkie

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    What do you think "provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior" means?
     
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  28. Blakestr

    Blakestr [H]ard|Gawd

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    I read that quote. That is the most vague nonsense - facilitate the spreading of HIV? That basically means ANYONE that has sex. So unless these programs are strictly abstinence based, no federal money. I mean, come on, call a Spade a Spade. If Pence didn't have a problem with the gay community, he would come out and say that. You and I both know he (or more likely his base) do have a problem.

    Personally, I wish we could get back to fixing the economy, going into space, and curing cancer....but noooo, we've got to stop Tim and Steve from getting married and oh my god Seth wants to call himself a girl. Most conservatives just want to get on with their lives, fix the economy, and hold people accountable.
     
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  29. Advil

    Advil [H]ard|Gawd

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    This is a slippery slope we can't embark on.

    Do you tax only Netflix? It will be about 2 years before every streaming service is taxed. And then a year after that your entire internet bill will have an extra tax for streaming through your ISP... and somehow Netflix and the other streamers will still be paying their tax too.

    It's like an endless spigot of potential revenue. And we don't apply it to anything else on the internet.

    If this gets done even once, where does it end and how fast does it snowball?
     
  30. kac77

    kac77 2[H]4U

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    That's pretty much exactly what that quote means.
     
  31. westrock2000

    westrock2000 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    This is the beauty of it, now that it's been put out there, you can't see it any other way.

    Sexual behavior means a lot of things. They are all considered deviance, but they are all different none the less.

    You just assume it means "pray the gay away" because that is what has been propagated.

    Plenty of straight men, women, and youth that take part in risky sexual behavior that exposes them to contracting HIV/AIDS.

    This is talking about preventative actions against those sexual behaviors.
     
  32. DocSavage

    DocSavage 2[H]4U

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    There's also youtube and streaming music sources. I suppose if you could just download the content and then play it, it wouldn't be streaming and therefore free of the tax.
     
  33. DocSavage

    DocSavage 2[H]4U

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    So these are abstinence and stop-kissing programs? I suppose you could count anti-street-drug programs with that as well.
     
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  34. kac77

    kac77 2[H]4U

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    That's the beauty of it for people that don't like to accept the fact that their baby is just as ugly as the neighbors kid down the block. Pence has a pretty horrible record when it comes to using the government to legislate what is an acceptable sexual act and what is not from a religious perspective. He has no business using the government to legislate sexual behavior, and especially not writing legislation based on personal religious beliefs. If you want small government I'm all for that in a lot of areas. But using government to legislate sexual behavior (especially when it's based around religious beliefs) is just something I can't get behind. Especially since it's in the Constitution within the like the first paragraph.

    Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.... taxing the type of data after taxing the data transmission itself is beyond stupid. Regardless if you politically lean left or right everyone should be able to balance a budget.
     
  35. Oh I don't know...maybe don't have sex with IV users. Don't have unprotected sex. Don't have sex with prostitutes. Don't have sex with random partners.
     
  36. DocSavage

    DocSavage 2[H]4U

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    Does anyone think a place preaching this message will have *any* effect whatsoever?
     
  37. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Actually, I think it's more about what some would call, "promiscuous sexual activity". You can have all the sex that you and your partner can manage and have 0% chance of contracting HIV if you and your partner are free of disease to begin with and remain true to each other.

    There are many life style choice available, but only a couple of them maintain a low risk of infection.
     
  38. SvenBent

    SvenBent 2[H]4U

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    Except this is typical company lobbying seeing in America. Where as socialist countries don't have company lobbyist in near the same degree.
    So you quote should end with " be more US corrupt".
     
  39. evilsofa

    evilsofa [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Oh, I see. They're talking about funding sex education in schools and Planned Parenthood?