Cable TV channel urges viewers to “Stop the Georgia TV Tax!”

HB887Internet
Stop the Georgia TV Tax?

 

By Rita Van Fleet

As cable and dish television watchers scroll through the listings, a channel in the lineup is titled the “Stop the Georgia TV Tax!” The announcement reads: “The Georgia House of Representatives will vote in the next few days to put a new tax on your satellite TV. The House of Representatives would force you to pay a new tax every month for the satellite TV that you love. Georgia legislators hold the future of your TV bill in their hands! Call now and tell them to oppose HB 887 and stop the TV tax.” A list of all the Georgia state representatives follows, including their phone numbers and areas they represent.

The announcement references the 2017-2018 Regular Session Georgia HB 887 Communications Services Tax Act. The stated purpose in the bill is to “facilitate and incentivize adequate and expanded broadband and other communications services throughout the state.” The bill is a companion bill to Senator Steve Gooch’s Senate bills SB 402-Achieving Connectivity Everywhere, One Step at a Time, an amendment to SB-232 which will allow the 42 Electric Membership Cooperatives to provide internet services and broadband to their customers, and also to the BILD ACT which will adopt “new laws pertaining to the use of pubic rights of ways.”  

According to State Senator Jack Hill of Reidsville, “Streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video would be taxed to provide money to expand internet services in rural Georgia if H.B. 887 becomes law. All phone and TV services that aren’t already taxed would be included. Oh yes, I almost forgot e-books and digital music also.” The full text of the current bill is available here.

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