Pennsylvania to tax streaming services

dollar-sign-cufflink-canvasPennsylvania may be the latest state to levy a tax against streaming and download services. The state is expected to enact a 6% tax on Spotify and other comparable services beginning Aug. 1.

Several state and local governments have explored this space of taxing digital goods, but the new laws have some language variants and potential loopholes that could spark legal debates in the future. For instance, the city of Chicago enacted a tax on “cloud” services, while Connecticut’s law is ostensibly about digital downloads, but the way “downloads” is then explained includes any transmission without “tangible personal property,” which would seem to cover streaming as well.

Government has often been accused of moving too slowly to accurately reflect the speed of technology’s impact on day-to-day life, and this seems to be another example. Many of the new taxes appear to be motivated by budget shortfalls more than anything else, and it’s a questionable choice to piggyback on this new technology without also taking steps to fully understand the nuances of it.

Anna Washenko


  1. So give corporations breaks and screw up budgets, then let the consumers fix it with their wallets. Typical.

    • The reason for the shortfalls is because trickle down economics doesn’t work.


      • Exactly! The CEO’s of Apple, Walmart, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, etc. get richer and richer while many of us middle class Americans are getting poorer and poorer!

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