Satellite TV Industry Warns of New Illinois Tax
Jim Anderson -- Illinois Radio Network
The satellite TV industry is against being taxed.
Among the taxes being talked about in Springfield, though not introduced as legislation, is a 5 percent tax on satellite TV equal to the 5 percent fee that cable TV companies pay to the cities where they operate. The cable industry is for it, saying it would mean tax parity, but Lisa V. McCabe, lobbyist for the satellite industry, says it isn't fair.
"They (cable companies) lay their cables under the ground and pay rent for those services. Satellite customers do not pay a franchise fee, or the industry doesn't pay a franchise fee, because we don't use those rights of way," she said at a news conference Monday in Springfield.
Representatives of the bar, restaurant and hotel industries said their costs would increase, and satellite installation companies said their employees would lose their jobs.
There are 1.3 million satellite subscribers in Illinois, about half as many as there are cable subscribers.
That tax could raise $75 million. It could be used for general revenue, or it could help fund a construction program, or it could not be enacted into law at all.