Probably terrified of having no other means of resolving New York State's $15 billion deficit, governor David Paterson has recently proposed the implementation of a new tax, one that would virtually address all downloads from the Internet, regardless of their content. Naturally, the announcement has raised a few eyebrows in the world's second most populous city in the world, after Tokyo. Throughout the country, state officials are beginning to tax various types of downloads from the Internet, saying that they need to plug the holes in their budgets.
“It is a general proposal, not focused on the content, so it would apply to any download, regardless of the content,” Errol Cockfield, who is a spokesman for Paterson, said. According to the official, the tax will most likely consist of 4 percent of the total transacted sum, which will not cause great dent in the budgets of taxpayers, especially if they do not download a lot. On the other hand, it will apply to everything from music, software, and books, to videos and other Internet content, which has people wondering if such a measure is legal.
Financial analysts say that the option, if extended to all the population, could have a seriously negative influence on the state's economy, and could prompt businesses to leave the state in search for a place where such pieces of legislation do not exist. They add, however, that if the tax was to be applied to the highly-lucrative domain of the adult industry, then surely everyone would agree with it, and the new proposal wouldn't have any unwanted influences on the state's economy.
Still, even this proposition has been met with critical standpoints, this time from New York Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long, who told the New York Daily News that “By taxing it you're legitimizing it.” And some moral groups support this assertion, saying that distributing and paying for adult content on the Internet should be no way for the State of New York to fill its treasure chests.
States like Mississippi, North Dakota and Wisconsin are currently pondering such decisions as well, while other 20 have already adopted one tax form or the other. In all, most have gone for taxing music downloads, such as those from iTunes, hoping that this will bring the much needed money to their budgets.