Watch Out, Binge Watchers – A “Netflix Tax” Might Be Coming to Maine
The latest budget proposal from Governor LePage sees a hike in sales taxes on a number of everyday activities, but none may be more controversial than the so-called "Netflix Tax."
According to the Bangor Daily News, the tax, officially referred to as a "cloud tax", would impose a 6% tax on subscription based streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime, as well as music services like Spotify and Apple Music. Also affected would be rental hubs like AirBnB, which would be required to collect taxes on properties in Maine listed on their sites.
This legislation follows suit with many other states and cities, the biggest of which being Chicago, which passed a similar tax plan in 2015. The goal of the change is to shift Maine's tax revenue from income-based collection towards consumption - meaning a hike in collections from Maine's booming summer tourism industry.
The proposal follows what has been a rather controversial few days for Governor LePage, following an unpopular comment on President-Elect Trump's public spat with US Representative and civil rights activist John Lewis. Proposing a tax on one of Millennials' favorite services just afterwards can't be helping his popularity.