State Legislature Attempts to Tax All Digital Downloads

| 14 Mar 2012 15:20

A bill before the Connecticut State Senate would make all digital purchases subject to a sales tax.

The first time I bought something online - I think it was this book from Amazon for a theater project - I was pleasantly surprised I didn't have to pay the hefty 8 percent sales tax (Edit: When I lived in CT, the sales tax was 8 percent. The tax rate is now 6.35 percent.) that everything else in my home state of Connecticut warranted. Some states have tried to make online merchants like Amazon or NewEgg charge tax, but so far digital purchases like, say, any forthcoming Mass Effect 3 DLC or Civ V on Steam have been sacrosanct. Connecticut lawmakers want to change all that by passing a bill to amend the tax code so that the government can tax every digital exchange, including movies, TV shows, and yes, games. Or at least that's what I think "digital audio-visual work" means.

The stated purpose of the bill is "to include digital movies, books, music, ringtones, audio and video works and similar downloadable products as subject to the sales and use tax." If passed at the next State Senate session on March 16th, the tax would go into effect on July 1, 2012.

Naturally, the Electronic Consumers Association is fighting this new tax on videogames. The proposed bill hits home for the gamers who work there because the offices of the ECA just happen to be in Wilton, CT, and would therefore be subject to this taxation. The ECA has set up a page to put gamers in Connecticut in touch with their local legislators to protest this new law.

"Tell the Connecticut Senate to not tax our hobby!" the petition reads. "Connecticut gamers, take a moment to tell your representative not to tax our hobby! Senate Bill 400 would implement a tax on digital downloads and would make it more expensive to enjoy video games. Let the Connecticut legislature know that this is not the right way to aid an economic recovery, and not the way to represent their constituents."

Head over to the ECA if you happen to live within the tiny Nutmeg State, or just want to learn more.


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