If David Paterson, governor of New York, has his way, those tunes that you love to download will now be taxable. The scary part is that other states may see this as an inroads to a whole new revenue stream, and additional taxes on life's simple pleasures, such as music, may become more commonplace.
The proposed "iPod tax," seeks to tax the sale of downloaded music and other "digitally delivered entertainment services" by 4 percent. Does that mean SDARS would apply as well? SDARS is "digitally delivered entertainment" after all. Where will HD radio, a "free" service fit into all of this, or will they get a free ride here as well?
If four percent on digital tunes seems outrageous, consider his proposed 18% tax on soda and other sugary drinks such as Red Bull! If the beverage is not at least 70 percent real fruit juice, be prepared to open your wallet. The governor's theory is that the high tax on such beverages will help curb obesity. Seems a noble goal, but do we really need to legislate that? And what about music. Is digital music somehow bad for you, or is this simply yet another way to saddle citizens with more taxes?
If you are a fan of satellite radio, iPods, Zunes, etc., you will want to pay close attention to issues such as this and speak your mind. Otherwise, we may all wind up paying a "breathing tax" before long!
Position - Long Sirius XM