Potential for Illinois Tax on Satellite TV Subscribers

In Springfield, IL, the state legislature is kicking around the idea of a tax to fund public works, with these funds being provided by those who subscribe to satellite TV in Illinois. Similar taxes have been enacted in the past on cable TV subscribers, but not on satellite TV subscribers, as satellite TV does not require use of public right of way like cable TV does (running cables underground, or alongside phone lines). Many rural Southern Illinois residents who do not have the option to use cable TV, because they do not live within a provider’s service area, believe this new potential tax is unfair.

From The Southern Illinoisan:

State Rep. Terri Bryant, R-Murphysboro, who has satellite in her home because cable is not available to her, asked why should people who don’t have the option of cable be taxed for using satellite.

“It is unfair,” she said.

She said she is not in support of what is being called the “satellite tax” right now, but the cable companies and satellite companies are working on a compromise about excluding those who only have the satellite option.

“You can’t just tax people who have no other option,” Bryant said. “We are taxed to death and a new tax that doesn’t give value to anything tangible I would not be willing to support.”

Beyond homeowners who use satellite TV, businesses will also be hard hit if such a tax comes into play. Many sports bars and restaurants subscribe to the NFL Sunday Ticket package to bring customers in during the football season—this package is only available with DIRECTV, and not available on cable TV.

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