States garner revenue from DTH

Florida is implementing a communications tax for DTH services beginning on Oct. 21. North Carolina included in its proposed 2001-2003 state budget a provision to tax not only satellite equipment, but cable as well, on a statewide basis. According to the Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association, a six percent tax would be charged on gross receipts from the sale of cable and satellite TV services across the state under the legislation.

Under the 1996 Telecommunications Act, satellite providers are exempt from paying any local tax, but states are allowed to charge sales tax on DTH.

Currently, satellite TV is not taxed by the state, but cable is subject to local taxes, but the bill would allow cable operators to be credited for any local franchise tax they pay.

Taxing satellite equipment in North Carolina is no trivial thing. North Carolina ranks fourth in the country with more than 800,000 subscribers with Florida, California and Texas each having more than 1 million DTH subscribers.

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