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Georgia Wants to Add a Tax on Netflix, Music Streaming

February 12, 2019, 6:03 PM UTC

The cost to Netflix and chill, or add a new dance to your Fortnite moves, could be going up if you live in Georgia.

Legislators in the Peach State are considering a new 4% tax on digital video, books, music, and games. That could increase costs by a few pennies to a few dollars on most things consumers stream (and follows a recent big price hike from Netflix) .

The money raised from the tax would be earmarked to help run internet lines in some of the state’s poorer areas, which have reduced access to high-speed connections. (A University of Georgia study shows 16% of the state, some 638,000 households, have internet speeds of less than 25 megabits per second.)

The tax does face some significant opposition, however. A poll by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that 66% of Georgians were not in favor of the plan. And Gov. Brian Kemp and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan have both been reluctant to throw their weight behind the idea.

A similar digital tax plan in Georgia was defeated last year.

Proponents, though, note that Georgia doesn’t have sales taxes on digital goods, which creates an unfair advantage over some physical products (like books and DVDs). The state began taxing products sold online at the beginning of the year.

The bill has not yet been formally introduced to the Georgia legislature, but House lawmakers say they plan to do so soon.