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Year 2013 Bring Increased Costs to Satellite TV Subscribers

Satellite Technology

Satellite Technology Feature Article

December 31, 2012

Year 2013 Bring Increased Costs to Satellite TV Subscribers

By Tabitha Naylor, Contributing Writer

In Illinois, due to a proposed tax increase, higher costs will be seen by satellite TV subscribers next year. Earlier in the year, a bill was passed by the Illinois Senate which imposes a 5-percent tax on satellite TV services such as DirecTV (News - Alert) and Dish Network.

In the first few days of the 2013 legislative session, the House is expected to take up HB 5440. Andrew Rhinesdorf, representative for DirecTV, stated that the bill was snuck through the Senate but they are working to stop it in the House.

“The cable industry has stated that they think they have the votes to pass this measure and they’re going to try to push their allies in Springfield to foist this new discriminatory tax on satellite subscribers,” said Rhinesdorf.

The imposition, he added, is similar to taxing people on how they watch TV, and it’s discrimination in its most basic form. It penalizes a person from choosing satellite, a competitor to the incumbent cable provider.

Expected to bring in about $75 million, cable companies are supportive of the tax. The imposition of tax, according to those companies who already pay a franchise fee and legislators supporting the measure, is fair.

But according to Rhinesdorf, that isn’t the case.

In response to the imposition, Rhinesdorf mentioned that it was illogical and it wasn’t the first satellite tax fight that it had engaged in. Cable companies use its relationships and lobbying in state capitols and push these taxes and argue that it’s parity.

Moreover, when the company was able to tell its story and able to engage its subscribers, 27 out of 28 times its side has prevailed and the taxes are rejected. For the average subscriber, Rhinesdorf says the increase will amount to around $4.

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Edited by Braden Becker

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