The issue of whether consumers should have to pay a tax to watch Netflix and other streaming video services has reared its head in California.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Pasadena and other cities are examining the possibility of imposing such taxes.
“Pasadena city officials are mulling whether to tax subscribers of Netflix, Hulu and other video streaming using an existing municipal utility tax code that initially was designed for taxing cable-television users. Sacramento and dozens of other California cities have similar codes that might enable them to consider the tax,” The Times reports.
“That follows similar so-called ‘Netflix taxes’ that already have gone into effect in Pennsylvania and Chicago,” the report adds. “More levies elsewhere could be coming as state and local agencies try to generate more revenue, especially to replace revenue lost from consumers who became ‘cord cutters’ by dropping cable TV and switching to video streaming.”
While the trend appears to be moving toward more imposition of taxes, such measures are bound to meet resistance.
“For starters, the Internet Assn. — the trade group whose members include Netflix — is not happy about the tax effort and is campaigning to curb it. The group also hinted that it might pursue legal action in some cases,” The Times reports.
The article quotes Robert Callahan, the Internet Association’s California executive director, saying: “We’re not leaving anything off the table. There are a number of questions we have about the legality of this.”