State looking at tax on streaming services

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Your DVR, Netflix account, Spotify and much more may soon cost you a little bit extra. The state revenue department is looking to make streaming services taxable.

This is something cities like Philadelphia and Chicago all tried to put in place. And if the revenue department gets its way, a four percent tax would apply to everything from your Netflix account to your DVR. There’s a hearing in Montgomery on this on April 11th.

The revenue department is looking at a rule change that would apply a rental tax to all streaming services. It even includes applications. CBS 42 News spoke with Representative Craig Ford and he says this is a clear example of a way state departments are trying to generate revenue without calling it raising taxes. Some people say that the state is overstepping.

Grant Sides said, “I mean it is a few dollars here or there, but the point is at the end of the day it becomes an issue of how far the state can go into what I am purchasing at what point can it tax something or not? Groceries has always really bothered me, you shouldn’t tax things that are necessities.”

Rep. Ford said the legislature passed a bill last year that cleared the way for agencies to raise fees on their own.

He says raising fees is just like raising taxes, without calling it raising taxes.

What else are you paying more for? Renewing your license and getting a marriage license are two more examples.

In Jefferson County, last year a marriage license was $54.50. This year it is $84.50.

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