Download Tax? iPod Tax? Wisconsin Poised to Tax Internet Downloads

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They may not know it, but Wisconsin is poised to become the first state to tax downloads on the Internet. The download tax, referred to by some as the iPod tax, hidden away in Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle’s proposed budget, would tax the downloading of books, movies, artwork and songs (hence the nickname “iPod tax”).

“It’s a matter of equity” said Wisconsin Revenue Secretary Mike Morgan.


But Republican representative Scott Jensen said of the Democratic Doyle’s download tax plan, “Unlike Gov. Doyle, I want to encourage electronic commerce. As the budget process moves forward, I will be working to push the ‘delete’ button on Gov. Doyle’s iPod tax.”

Heh. iPod tax. It is indeed a nice sound bite.

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Download Tax?  iPod Tax? Wisconsin Poised to Tax Internet Downloads

Public hearings on the Governor’s proposed budget, including the tax on downloading, are set to begin on Wednesday in Watertown, Wisconsin. (Wisconsin readers listen up! Attend those hearings if you feel strongly one way or the other about this!)

According to one source a summary of the download tax proposal says that it would “extend the 5% sales tax to “audio works,” including music, books on tape and pre-recorded speeches; “audiovisual works,” including movies, music videos and live events; “finished artwork,” including paintings, designs and photographs; and “literary works,” including books.”

Morgan, however, explained that the tax on downloading would simply “level the playing field” between those who download and consumers who purchase such products at local stores which contribute to the Wisconsin economy.

Un hunh.

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Download Tax?  iPod Tax? Wisconsin Poised to Tax Internet Downloads

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4 Replies to “Download Tax? iPod Tax? Wisconsin Poised to Tax Internet Downloads”

  1. as the saying went dump doyle hes a crook and so are all the other polititions they need to leave us alone and pick thier own pockets not ours whats next a sneeze tax

  2. ever wonder why tow people need an income just to survive??? here is the primary example….taxes…… Another camels nose under the tent.

  3. You had to know it was going to happen sooner ot later. There’s nothing that the Government can’t resist getting a piece of eventually. With the huge amount of e-commerce going on every day, even a 2% or 3% tax is a gold mine for the Government coffers. I am really surprised that the Feds haven’t latched onto this yet, but I have no doubt they will eventually. If Wisconsin’s Ipod tax goes through you can bet that every state budget next year will contain a similar tax. Say goodbye to the good old days of tax free internet shopping!!!

  4. Shoot – let’s just stick with the KISS principle – put a 3% tax on all domestic online orders, regardless of local tax rates, tax rates at origin, use taxes, etc. Payment of this tax would exempt you from any other sales and use taxes. Half the proceeds go to the sellers’ localities, half to the buyers’ localities.

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