Fire up your Showtime and Disney Channel. A Senate committee voted down a proposal to charge sales tax on cable television subscriptions.
Sen. John Holmgren, R-Bear River, had proposed charging the sales tax to partially fund increased medical care for Utah's poor, elderly and uninsurables. But there were no guarantees the tax revenues would be earmarked for medical purposes, and without those guarantees lawmakers said no."If you want something, dog-gone-it, you have to pay for it," Holmgren argued. If we are going to provide quality health care, we have to pay for it."
Cable television is assessed franchise taxes of 2-5 percent by cities and counties. The sales tax, which would have raised $2.7 million the first year and $3.5 million the second, would have been in addition to the franchise tax.
Cable companies argued that the tax would hit the lower and middle classes the hardest, as well as rural Utahns, who subscribe at far greater rates than do urban residents.