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Fight Brewing Over Television Taxes

Tony Webster via wikimedia commons

The Florida Supreme Court is mulling what to do about surcharges for television subscriptions.  The state taxes satellite almost twice as much as cable.

Satellite and cable service providers collect taxes in their monthly charges—just not the same amount.  The satellite industry, which charges almost double cable, says this is discriminatory.  But Florida Department of Revenue attorney Jonathan Williams says satellite is actually coming out ahead.

“In every single year examined in this case satellite providers enjoyed a tax advantage over their pay TV competitor, cable,” Williams argues.  “Plainly, satellite is not the victim.”

That’s because cable companies often collect local taxes in addition to state levies.  Satellite is subject to a higher state rate but federal law prohibits local taxes.  

Nick Evans came to Tallahassee to pursue a masters in communications at Florida State University. He graduated in 2014, but not before picking up an internship at WFSU. While he worked on his degree Nick moved from intern, to part-timer, to full-time reporter. Before moving to Tallahassee, Nick lived in and around the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years. He listens to far too many podcasts and is a die-hard 49ers football fan. When Nick’s not at work he likes to cook, play music and read.