NY governor proposes Internet tax on downloads

From Physorg:

New York Gov. David A. Paterson speaks during a press conference after a lunch meeting with U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in January in New York City. Paterson has proposed a tax on Internet downloads in a move that has raised eyebrows because it could apply to everything from software to pornography.


  1. As a Liberal, I’m shocked that the Gov. would want to do something that would stifle ecommerce in his state. It’s because of proposals like this that we get painted as “tax and spend” liberals. Can’t he “see” that?

  2. My question is: How the HELL would they be able to monitor all the downloads in order to be able to apply a tax? And how would they collect it?

    What a supremely STUPID (and greedy) idea.

  3. Everyone in NY hates Patterson right now, I think. And yes he’s legally blind. I want hooker boning Spitzer back. Boo unelected officials but more boo vengeful sneaky republicans. This is a stupid proposal. I’d rather have my isp taxed more instead of the government wasting money to setup a system that could effectively (or at all) tax downloads.

  4. if this happens it will be a giant step backwards for the internet. one nice feature of the internet is that now, instead of buying hard copies of software on discs, you can download many gb worth of software easily. if that is taxed, what will happen when someone wants to download a new update for their software? terrible idea in my opinion.

  5. My first thought was that this was an idiotic and unworkable scheme.

    My second was that it doesn’t sound like an actual scheme at all: what does a ‘4 per cent tax’ on downloads mean, anyway? A 4 per cent rate of VAT on paid-for downloadable content? That might not be so bad (if you’re going to have VAT at all – a whole ‘nother debate) but I’m pretty sure paid-for downloadable content isn’t VAT exempt anyway, is it?

    If it’s on all downloads (from porn to TPB), then 4 per cent of what? ‘You downloaded ‘Beautiful babes and throbbing tranny cocks vol eight’ from TPB, you owe us 25kb’?

    Also, if it’s on 4 per cent of all downloads then surely it would have to be a point-of-delivery tax (ie collected from consumers somehow). It’d be impossible to collect from out-of-state content providers, after all… although equally that really makes the ‘driving business away from the state’ objection rather moot (though it could erode *sales* in the state).

    Ok, I really don’t get this idea at all.

  6. And yet the article claims that “Around 20 US states have begun to apply a tax to downloads.” Anyone know which states, and how those programs work (or fail to)?

    As a New Yorker, I’m not too pleased with Patterson.

  7. There are way too many protocols to monitor. Are they just going to tax them all? WTF? If this ever happens, some hacker will figure out a way around it.

    Don’t see it happening.

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