Politicians are coming up with new ways to eat into household budgets and deplete personal bank accounts. It’s not just blue state lawmakers who are busy looking for ways to siphon more revenue from the private economy and into state coffers.
Take the Republican-run state of Georgia, where Representative Jay Powell (R), chairman of the House Rules Committee, is pushing for a new tax on internet services like Netflix and Hulu, as well as digital goods like iTunes music downloads and e-books.
“The 4 percent communications service tax would replace the state’s existing taxes and fees on phone lines and cable TV, which range from 5 percent to over 7 percent,” reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Governor Brian Kemp (R) and Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan (R) have both come out in opposition to the proposal. Governor Kemp is a signer of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a written commitment to Georgia taxpayers that he will oppose and veto any and all efforts to raise state taxes.
“My first inclination is not to look at tax increases to pay for this,” Kemp said in recent interview with Georgia Public Broadcasting. “If we’re going to have some sort of offset, I’d be open to looking at that. I don’t know that raising taxes is the answer for me.”
The tax hike proposed by Rep. Powell is intended to fund rural broadband. Lt. Gov. Duncan tweeted that while he shares the goal of increasing rural broadband access, he thinks that Rep. Powell’s proposed tax hike is the wrong way to go about it.
I agree with @GovKemp, we’re going to build out rural broadband, but a new @netflix tax is not how we’re going to do it. #gapol https://t.co/9sBf4TmFuN
— Geoff Duncan (@GeoffDuncanGA) January 30, 2019
Americans for Tax Reform is urging Georgia lawmakers to reject this tax hike.