MVPD tax battle in progress in Illinois


Dollar SignThe Illinois Senate has just approved a 5% tax on satcasters like Dish and DirecTV, saying it will help education children while leveling the MPVD playing field with satellite’s cable competition. The satcasters say it isn’t that simple.

According to the State Journal-Register, Democrats passed a bill to this effect out of committee, saying that it would mirror the 5% franchise fee that cable companies pay.

The satellite companies cried foul immediately, saying the cable charge was justified because of their need to string cable from poles or dig holes and bury it underground, making use of public property for their own business purposes.

Satellite companies need only spectrum and customers with the proper receiving equipment, installed on the customers’ own property.

The leader of the Republican minority bemoaned the addition of another tax of any kind.
The measure is expected to raise $75M if passed. It needs to be approved by the full Illinois Senate and the state’s House before moving on to the governor for a signature.