Maine Considers Taxing Streaming Services

( – Heads up if you’re a Netflix binge-watcher – your bill might be getting a bit heavier soon.

Maine is mulling over the idea of slapping taxes on streaming services, meaning you might see an extra fee for Netflix or Spotify on your monthly statement. If you’re part of the 1.3 million residents of the Pine Tree State, get ready to dig a little deeper into your pocket.

Right now, Maine’s tax code applies to cable and satellite providers, but streaming services have been flying under the radar. Governor Janet Mills wants to change that by making sure everyone gets taxed equally.

If this goes through, it’s estimated to bring in an extra $10 million each year. But it’s not all taking – there’s talk of expanding tax breaks for nonprofits to balance things out.

Currently, service providers pay a 6 percent tax, while customers pay a 5.5 percent sales tax on things like movies and music, whether they’re buying physical copies or digital downloads. But streaming? That’s been a tax-free zone so far.

Under the proposal, both service providers and customers would get hit with a 5.5 percent tax, and exemptions for streaming costs would disappear. That means if a customer is shelling out 20 dollars a month for a streaming service, they might find an extra $1.10 tacked onto their bill.

Sharon Huntley from the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services spilled the beans on this not-so-new idea. This isn’t the first time it’s been proposed – it’s been on the table twice before, in 2020 and even further back in 2017.

The Committee on Taxation gave it the thumbs up in a 7-1 vote.

Maine wouldn’t be alone in this tax party – 25 other states are already slapping taxes on streaming services. Many consumers are arguing that this is making an inflated government even more glutinous.

The bright side? Customers will have some new shows and movies to binge on while they grumble about taxes during a recession! Doesn’t seem like much of a win-win.

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