Looking to curb a $15 billion deficit in the state budget, New York Governor David Patterson has proposed a tax on internet downloads. The proposal isnít content-specific, so the four percent tax would apply to everything from music, books, software and, yes, to downloaded pornography.
Guess thatíll be a boost for streaming, then, huh?
One New York Conservative Party Chairman, Michael ďDonít Tax My Porn, BroĒ Long told New York Daily news taxing pornography would legitimize the industry. Larry Flint probably worries about the same thing.
Twenty US states have begun taxing music downloads so far. As deficits and budget shortfalls boom, governments, especially state governments are looking to get a better grip on the cash-cow internet and squeeze a few pennies out of it. But being an interstate issue, regulation and taxation of the Internet is probably best left to the feds, if anybody.
If set at the federal level, at least you donít have Kentucky (my home state) wasting time and money trying to seize gambling domains to protect its own gambling coffers. Taxes on the currently wild-and-free Internet seem to be an eventuality. Hopefully officials will be able to do it sensibly and hopefully those affected by the taxes will keep their heads about them.