Bill Taxing Streaming Services Draws Opposition

03.20.2024
Issues & Policies

State lawmakers are considering a tax on internet streaming services.

HB 5446 extends the existing gross earnings tax on cable and satellite television companies to other communications services provided over the internet, such as streaming.

The legislature’s Energy and Technology Committee held a public hearing on the bill March 14.

The measure drew strong opposition from the business community, based on concerns the proposed tax will increase costs for consumers and businesses.

“This bill would increase the costs of broadband and wireless communications for our state’s small and large businesses,” CBIA’s Pete Myers told committee members.

“As the committee is aware, our state is routinely ranked as one of the best states in the nation for broadband infrastructure and connectivity.

“We’re concerned that if this legislation were to pass, our state’s broadband infrastructure would be negatively impacted as broadband providers will have fewer resources to invest in their constantly evolving infrastructure.”

‘Perennial Burdens’

Myers also noted that Connecticut “consistently ranks as one of the most expensive states in the country for utility costs.”

“We should not now pass legislation that will potentially drive up our internet costs as well on top of those perennial burdens on our state’s already challenged business consumers,” he said.

Television and cable providers have paid the gross earnings tax—now at 5%—since 1965, although that tax is not imposed on phone, internet, and streaming services.

CBIA’s Pete Myers noted that Connecticut “consistently ranks as one of the most expensive states in the country for utility costs.”

HB 5446 extends the gross earnings tax to communication service providers and “competitive video service providers,” which includes services like Netflix and Hulu.

The revenue would be used to fund public, education, and government access channels.

Committee ranking member Sen. Ryan Fazio (R-Greenwich) also shared his concerns with the bill.

“If you increase the cost of doing business, if you impose an earnings tax, then you are also going to see the cost translate to higher end-use prices for the consumer,” he said.


For more information, contact CBIA’s Pete Myers (860.244.1921).

Tags:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay Connected with CBIA News Digests

The latest news and information delivered directly to your inbox.

CBIA IS FIGHTING TO MAKE CONNECTICUT A TOP STATE FOR BUSINESS, JOBS, AND ECONOMIC GROWTH. A BETTER BUSINESS CLIMATE MEANS A BRIGHTER FUTURE FOR EVERYONE.