Satellite Radio Tax?!

Virginia’s trying to pass a bill that would add a 5% tax on Cable TV, Satellite TV, Satellite Radio and “Wireless”, amongst other various and variegated other little bits of interest. XM is, of course, up in arms over the whole thing and has asked their Virginia based subscribers to write or call their state Senator.

See, it’s not like XM has physical property in Virginia. Their property is instead floating in space, high above the Earth, sending down radio waves. Those of us who paid for the receiver and subscribe to the service, we get to listen in on good radio. So, why exactly does Virginia think it can tax XM for that? Never understood that… Time to write my politician…

3 Comments so far

  1. Stacey (unregistered) on February 28th, 2006 @ 12:38 pm

    Actaully, it gets worse. Not only has the federal gov’t considered this before, and many states have and do (i.e. the current fight in Virginia), but XM – and other satellite and wireless services – already pay a “tax.” Such services pay a spectrum fee which is analogous to utility companies paying a landline fee. They pay for space on the satellite spectrum, which is essentially their “usage fee.”

    So, not only does this additional tax suck b/c it will come back to consumers in the form of a higher bill, but they are already taxed the same way that landline-using utilities are, so this is a DOUBLE tax, not just a tax. Not many people can agree with imposing something like that on a company or consumers.

  2. Kimberley (unregistered) on February 28th, 2006 @ 2:14 pm

    It seems like Virginia is trying to make it’s residents pay a “sales” tax on everything.

  3. John (unregistered) on February 28th, 2006 @ 6:05 pm

    See, it’s not like XM has physical property in Virginia.

    Well, they actually might. Both XM and Sirius rely heavily on a network of terrestrial repeaters to provide reliable coverage in urban areas (Arlington, Richmond…) where the satellite signals are prone to blocking by tall buildings, overpasses, etc.

    I’m with you though, the tax is bunk.

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