×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Georgia Lawmakers Push for Games And Streaming Services Tax

Georgia lawmakers are pushing for a tax on video games, digital video, books, music, and streaming services like Netflix which could result in internet users in the region paying more for download and streaming services, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Legislators and internet providers are hoping to introduce a 4% tax on internet services to subsidize construction of internet lines in economically depressed rural parts of the state. So far roughly 66% of Georgians oppose the idea of introducing taxes to internet, television and phone services in order to raise money for rural internet.

State Rep. Jay Powell, chairman of the House Rules Committee, argues that customers have avoided having to pay sales taxes on digital products, which has created an imbalance between old and new technologies. While a physical book is subject to sales taxes, for instance, an ebook remains tax free.

“We are all part of the same state, and we help each other,” said Powell. “If Atlanta benefits, then the rest of Georgia benefits. If the rural section of Georgia benefits, then Atlanta benefits. We’re all in it together.”

About 638,000 households — 16 percent of the state — lack access to internet with speeds of at least 25 megabits per second, according to a University of Georgia study.

State Sen. Steve Gooch remains unconvinced that a digital services tax will do the job, stating that funding could come from an existing fund for landline telephone expansion.

“We should exhaust all options and review our existing tax framework for internet, telephone, broadband and satellite services before making any decisions,” said Gooch.

The digital services tax could generate around $48 million by 2021 and reach $310 million by 2024, according to state estimates. Revenue from the tax would be split between state and local governments, with the state’s half dedicated to the general treasury. As such, there isn’t a guarantee this would actually be used to increase internet access in rural Georgia. The state is not able to put funding toward a specific issue without changing its Constitution.

More Gaming

  • Fortnite Battle Royale

    Epic Games Suing Organizers of Disastrous 'Fortnite' Festival

    Epic Games is suing the organizers behind a U.K. “Fortnite” festival that happened over the weekend, according to Epic Games. Fortnite Live Norwich was billed as the “Fortnite” event of the year. The two-day festival advertised outdoor laser tag, a climbing wall, archery, and more. Tickets started at £12, with wristbands for unlimited access going [...]

  • Google Hosts GDC Keynote in Which

    Google Hosting GDC Keynote in Which 'All Will be Revealed'

    Google is hosting a keynote at this year’s Game Developers Conference that promises to reveal all, according to an invite sent out to press including Variety. While Google has been attending GDC and hosting events at the annual gathering since at least 2010, this appears to be the first time the company is holding a [...]

  • 'Fortnite' Usurped by 'PUBG Mobile' in

    'Fortnite' on App Store Usurped by 'PUBG Mobile' in January

    Player spending in “PUBG Mobile” overtook the amount spent in the iOS version of “Fortnite” last month for the first time, according to Sensor Tower. Global spending in “PUBG Mobile” was up 24% from December, with players spending an estimated $45.2 million on the App Store and Google Play versions of the game. “Fortnite” on [...]

  • 'Anthem' Launch Day Patch to Fix

    'Anthem' Launch Day Patch to Fix High Level Concerns

    EA revealed details of a launch day patch for “Anthem” meant to address major issues present in the game in its current early access status on Monday. The full patch notes are extensive, but the high level fixes, if successful, could resolve many of the major issues that are hindering players’ experience with the action title. [...]

  • DF-10193 – L-R: Ben Hardy (Roger Taylor),

    'Bohemian Rhapsody' Leads MPSE Golden Reel Awards for Sound Editing

    “Bohemian Rhapsody” followed up love from Cinema Audio Society sound mixers with a pair of honors at the Motion Picture Sound Editors’ 66th annual Golden Reel Awards Sunday night. The musical biopic scored wins for dialogue and ADR as well as sound editing in a musical. The film is nominated for sound editing at the Oscars [...]

  • Netmarble Operating Profit Nearly Halved in

    Netmarble Operating Profit Nearly Halved in 2018

    Korea’s foremost mobile game publisher Netmarble experienced a 43.5% decrease in operating profit in the fourth quarter of 2018, a 59% drop year-over-year, the company announced in its financial report. While Netmarble’s releases “Lineage 2 Revolution,” “Marvel Future Fight,” “Marvel Contest of Champions,” and “Cookie Jam” have steadily performed in North American and Japanese markets [...]

  • The Razer Game Store Is Closing

    Razer Game Store Closing Feb. 28, Less Than Year After Launch

    The Razer Game Store will close on February 28 at 1am PST, the company announced in a blog post. This comes less than a year after its launch last April. The shutdown is part of “the company’s realignment plans,” according to Razer. “It has been a privilege for us to recommend and deliver great digital [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content