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Court of Appeals upholds Kentucky DBS tax

Discussion in 'General Satellite Discussion' started by FTA Michael, Jun 1, 2007.

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  1. Jun 1, 2007 #1 of 11
    FTA Michael

    FTA Michael Hall Of Fame

    Jul 21, 2002
    "A tax applied by the state of Kentucky to direct-broadcast satellite service does not violate the federal Constitution, according to a ruling issued Thursday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit."

    The DBS companies had challenged Kentucky's "simplified" telecommunications tax system passed by the legislature two years ago.

    Apparently, the constitutional question was whether the tax worked in favor of in-state businesses, the cable companies, over out-of-state businesses. The court ruled that the tax does not.

    More: http://multichannel.com/article/CA6448217.html
  2. Jun 1, 2007 #2 of 11

    shadyB Cool Member

    Sep 12, 2006
    I hope they continue to appeal this. I do not see why dbs should pay the same tax at the state level as cable. Cable operators use state and local infrastructure and right-of-way, while dbs does not. Cable operators should have to pay more taxes at the state level than dbs operators for this use of public property.
  3. Jun 1, 2007 #3 of 11

    Scotty AllStar

    Aug 10, 2006
    This will eventually be like everything else they creatively start taxing - Taxes Never decrease, never are used wisely by the gov't, and never end.
  4. Jun 1, 2007 #4 of 11

    tedb3rd Godfather DBSTalk Club

    Feb 2, 2006
    It's... POLITICS! Do you think there are any reps getting free satellite? Not much. Cable is distributed at the local level right in there with the good 'ole boys. Same government as we've always seen--now just in the DBS arena.
  5. Jun 2, 2007 #5 of 11

    jpl Hall Of Fame

    Jul 9, 2006
    Gotta agree that the tax sucks. But to be honest, I have a hard time seeing the case that the DBS companies were trying to make. Were they claiming that, through this tax scheme the state was giving an unfair advantage to in-state companies (i.e. the cable companies) and thereby violating the interstate commerce clause of the constitution? If so, that's a real stretch. I don't agree with all these taxes, but states have the right to levy them. And it sounds like this tax was designed to "level the playing field" by making all tv providers pay the same tax. I also agree that DBS companies don't use resources within a state the way cable companies do. Still, states have a right to pass laws that tax those companies. Not saying it's right... but it is legal... and it is constitutional. Just saying "we don't use resources of the state" are not good enough.

    I used to live in NJ and worked in NYC. I got reemed in taxes. I got to pay a NYC wage tax, even though I didn't live there. I paid all taxes on salaried earnings to NY State. Was I using any resources of the state? Nope. In fact, I was supplying money to the state (through purchases that I would make during the day), without using any. Fair? No I don't think so... but legal? Unfortunately, yes it was. Similarly here - the fact that the DBS companies don't use state resources is, unfortuntely, irrelevent to whether or not they can be taxed.

    As long as the state doesn't target DBS and are shown to be "protecting" cable, there really is no constitutional argument. Besides, the federal government sees DBS and cable really as two different industries (hence their denial of the DirecTV / Dish merger from a few years ago). Based on that, they could tax DBS out the wazoo, without taxing cable, and according to how the federal government sees it, it would probably be legal.
  6. Jun 2, 2007 #6 of 11

    jhillestad Godfather

    Jan 13, 2007
    typical tax .. they do that here in Florida for like 12% ! for something that coms from space and does not use one bit of public land !

    But off course they need that revenue for the ' lost tax ' from cable since you moved to satellite.... just goes to show they use the money for other stuff... in no way do you get any value or service for your 12% tax it just goes to welfare and pension funds and other ' crap ' that the normal working man never sees but pays for.
  7. Jun 2, 2007 #7 of 11
    Steve Mehs

    Steve Mehs Hall Of Fame

    Mar 21, 2002
    In NY, the land of taxes, cable TV, cable internet and satellite radio are not taxed at all. DBS is taxed on non programming related fees, when I had Dish Network the extended monthly protection plan was taxed, and when I had DirecTV the DVR fee was taxed but the programming was not. In each case it worked out to be a whole $0.21. My DVR fee with cable is not taxed, and no need for a monthly extended service plan, but for broadband and TV I pay nothing in taxes, except for the $0.07 FCC fee, whatever the hell that is used for. Cable phone services are taxed, here it works out to be about $6, $4 in state taxes and $2 for the Federal Universal Service Fund and the E911 charge. None of this compares to cell phones. My Nextel bill should be $70 for two phones, after taxes and fees it works out to be a tad over $100. A few months ago my county came up with a new tax on wireless to make up money from all the people going cell only.
  8. Jun 3, 2007 #8 of 11

    paulman182 Hall Of Fame

    Aug 4, 2006
    Here in KY, out of my $144 monthly D* bill, about $5 is tax.
  9. Jun 3, 2007 #9 of 11

    WebTraveler Icon

    Apr 9, 2006
    State has to get revenues from somewhere. That's the bottom line.
  10. dirk6665

    dirk6665 New Member

    Apr 11, 2007
    At first I thought this was funny...then I realized the awful truth of it.
    Be sure to read all the way to the end!
    > Tax his land,
    > Tax his bed,
    > Tax the table
    > At which he's fed.
    > Tax his tractor,
    > Tax his mule,
    > Teach him taxes
    > Are the rule.
    > Tax his cow,
    > Tax his goat,
    > Tax his pants,
    > Tax his coat.
    > Tax his ties,
    > Tax his shirt,
    > Tax his work,
    > Tax his dirt.
    > Tax his tobacco,
    > Tax his drink,
    > Tax him if he
    > Tries to think.
    > Tax his cigars,
    > Tax his beers,
    > If he cries, then
    > Tax his tears.
    > Tax his car,
    > Tax his gas,
    > Find other ways
    > To tax his ass
    > Tax all he has
    > Then let him know
    > That you won't be done
    > Till he has no dough.
    > When he screams and hollers,
    > Then tax him some more,
    > Tax him till
    > He's good and sore.
    > Then tax his coffin,
    > Tax his grave,
    > Tax the sod in
    > Which he's laid.
    > Put these words
    > upon his tomb,
    > "Taxes drove me
    > to my doom..."
    > When he's gone,
    > Do not relax,
    > Its time to apply
    > The inheritance tax.
    > Accounts Receivable Tax
    > Building Permit Tax
    > CDL license Tax
    > Cigarette Tax
    > Corporate Income Tax
    > Dog License Tax
    > Federal Income Tax
    > Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
    > Fishing License Tax
    > Food License Tax,
    > Fuel permit tax
    > Gasoline Tax (42 cents per gallon)
    > Hunting License Tax
    > Inheritance Tax
    > Interest expense
    > Inventory tax
    > IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
    > Liquor Tax
    > Luxury Taxes
    > Marriage License Tax
    > Medicare Tax
    > Property Tax
    > Real Estate Tax
    > Service charge taxes
    > Social Security Tax
    > Road usage taxes
    > Sales Tax
    > Recreational V ehicle Tax
    > School Tax
    > State Income Tax
    > State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
    > Telephone federal excise tax
    > Telephone federal universal service fee tax
    > Telephone federal, state and local surcharge taxes
    > Telephone minimum usage surcharge tax
    > Telephone recurring and non-recurring charges tax
    > Telephone state and local tax
    > Telephone usage charge tax
    > Utility Taxes
    > Vehicle License Registration Tax
    > Vehicle Sales Tax
    > Watercraft registration Tax
    > Well Permit Tax
    > Workers Compensation Tax
    > COMMENTS: Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago,
    > and our nation was the most prosperous in the world.
    > We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class
    > in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.
    > What the hell happened?
    > And I still have to "press 1" for English

  11. jpl

    jpl Hall Of Fame

    Jul 9, 2006
    One of my favorite quotes with regard to government and taxation came from Reagan. I'll probably get this a little wrong:

    Government's philosophy can be summed up as: if it moves, tax it. If it continues to move, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidize it.
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