Satellite TV providers oppose potential 5% tax on services

  • The satellite TV industry is opposing the idea of a 5 percent tax on their services.

      The satellite TV industry is opposing the idea of a 5 percent tax on their services. Mark Black | Staff Photographer

Updated 4/7/2015 1:39 PM

The satellite TV industry in Illinois has started fighting a potential tax it says could add 5 percent to customers' bills.

A specific proposal isn't yet being broadcast in Springfield, but it has come up before. And satellite companies said they shouldn't be taxed just because cable companies have to pay franchise fees with communities that let them use land to run their wires.


"Let's tax the airline passengers for the cost of laying railroads," Lisa McCabe, senior director of public policy for the Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association, said.

Cable providers have proposed the tax before saying it would help level the playing field for TV providers. Several years ago, it was approved by the Illinois Senate but didn't advance further.

"We're paying 5 percent for the cost of doing business," Joe Handley, President of the Cable Television & Communications Association of Illinois, said.

As lawmakers face deep budget cuts proposed by Gov. Bruce Rauner and look for a way to pay for new road construction in the future, new types of taxes could be debated in the coming months.

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