Georgia Exploring ‘Digital Services Tax’ For Digital Video Games and Streaming Services

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Following closely on the heels of Pennsylvania’s proposed “sin tax” on Mature-rated video games, Georgia lawmakers are floating a tax on streaming service subscriptions and digital purchases (including video games, ebooks, music, and video content). The idea is to add a 4% tax to these purchases and subscriptions in order to subsidize new internet lines to “economically depressed parts of the state” that don’t currently have the same kind of access that everyone else does.

Chairman of the House Rules Committee and State Rep. Jay Powell (R) says that there is an inequality between old and new technologies, and while customers have to pay products on physical goods, they have escaped having to pay any additional taxes on digital purchases and subscriptions. Lawmakers say that the prosperity of the urban areas of the state needs to be spread around fairly.

The majority of Georgians oppose the tax increase, with 66% of respondents in a statewide poll saying they were against it. Numerous lawmakers also oppose the idea of increasing taxes. One Georgian retiree argues that the cost of living is already higher in metro areas of the state, and that those who moved to rural areas because it was cheaper should bear the burden of the taxes and fees that build the lines going out to them.

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