“Apple’s iTunes has been nothing short of revolutionary. For just 99 cents, you can download almost any song onto your computer or iPod. For a few more dollars, you can rent a movie or buy an episode of your favorite TV show,” Brian Joseph reports for The Orange County Register.
“The service has become so ubiquitous that last month iTunes was named the nation’s second largest music retailer, behind only Wal-Mart,” Joseph reports. “It is a money machine – and our Legislature appears to have noticed.”
“You see, music and movies purchased on iTunes differs from those purchased in stores in one very significant way: it’s not taxed. California law explicitly restricts sales tax to ‘tangible’ goods – i.e. products that can be ‘seen, weighed, measured, felt or touched,'” Joseph reports. “A digital file, obviously, isn’t any of those things.”
“But the state faces an $8 billion deficit. The Legislature needs money. So it’s looking to iTunes,” Joseph reports.
“Last month, Assemblyman Charles Calderon, D-Whittier, introduced Assembly Bill 1956, which would apply sales taxes to media downloads. That would take a 99 cent song and bump it to $1.07 or more,” Joseph reports.
“New taxes require a 2/3rd vote of the Legislature, meaning some anti-tax Republicans would have to sign onto the proposal, but Calderon got creative,” Joseph reports. “Instead of proposing a new tax, AB 1956 simply requires the Board of Equalization to amend the definition of ‘tangible personal property’ to include ‘digital property.’ That needs only a majority vote, meaning no Republicans necessary.”
Joseph reports, “Voila! A new tax – without a 2/3rds vote.”
Full article here.
Did Apple create California’s budget crisis or did California’s legislature spend way, way, way more than it took in for years? Perhaps before taxing California’s consumers and taking a bite out of one of the premier California-based employers, the legislature should first look to reign in their massive, wasteful spending habits? You know, get your business in order first before you look to disrupt the well-performing businesses of others. Just a logical thought. We now return you to reality and the illogical thought patterns of California legislators.
Apple ought to noisily explore Arizona real estate opportunities. That would put an end to this sort of stupidity immediately.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Bill M.” for the heads up.]