Roper: Netflix tax hiding in Tampax bill

By Rob Roper

For years, legislators on the left have been eager to tax so called “cloud” services, or, as the legal language refers to them, “specified digital products transferred electronically to an end user regardless of whether for permanent use or less than permanent use and regardless of whether or not conditioned upon continued payment from the purchaser; or – … vendor-hosted prewritten computer software and the right to access and use vendor-hosted prewritten computer software to perform data processing services.”

In English, think Spotify, Pandora, TurboTax, Adobe products, Microsoft Office, Netfilx, Hulu, etc. and so on ad infinitum.

All these things, should this pass, will cost Vermonters 6 percent more to use (7 percent in places with a local option tax), amounting to annual overall tax increases of $11, $12, and $14 million over 2023, 2024, and 2025.

This is a first step toward expanding Vermont’s sales tax to all services, as recently recommended by the Vermont Tax Commission.

This is the injury. The insult is where this little tax increase language has been tacked on: S.53 – An act relating to exempting feminine hygiene products from the Vermont Sales and Use Tax.

S.53, as passed by the senate, was a “clean” bill simply removing the sales tax from purchases of feminine hygiene products. Good thing! We favor fewer taxes, and this is no exception. But now the house is loading up this bill with other provisions that will result in a significant overall tax INCREASE on Vermonters. Not just the “cloud” service tax, but also an overhaul of Vermont’s corporate tax structure (overall, bad), and an income tax exemption for the first $10,000 of military pensions (good).

So, what do feminine hygiene products have to do with Netflix, military pensions, and corporate tax rates? Nothing. The issues should be treated either separately or as parts of different bills. Don’t let the politicians use the cover of good tax decreases on feminine products and military pensions to hide the stink of two major tax increases on Vermonters.  

– Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. 

Categories: Legislation

10 replies »

  1. Is there no dirty trick that the legislature will not stoop to to procure money to fund the bureaucracy? Obviously this is a rhetorical question!

  2. Very odd in this age when gender has become but an inconsequential social construct that we have a special taxation law governing a health care product that is historically regarded as gender specific. If this had been proposed 40 years ago, it may have been seen as gender discrimination. In our current, progressive way of thinking where gender is fluid and not defined by one’s biological plumbing, it is perfectly normal and natural to accept that the need for such products can be experienced by any of the 56+ genders officially recognized. I would like to assume that a jockstrap is considered clothing and exempt from sales tax, just as a bra would be? That this proposal should be used to provide cover to a services tax is par for the course when we consistently elect “progressive” marxists to run our once-great state of Vermont. Elections have consequences.

    • Speaking of your mention of the gender insanity as of late, don’t you love it how these loons now make statements publicly such as: “People who are pregnant” — AS IF men can & do become pregnant?! Yep….”the party of science”. They’re all mad scientists.

  3. Business as usual under the “Golden Dumb”.If you can’t pass something on it’s own merit, lump it in with something more positive, less controversial, and hope that the good being done over shadows the bad. Sleazy ? Yea, but unfortunately, that is the way it’s done. The Governor, and the President, need a line item veto power to bring transparency, and integrity back to law making.

  4. It’s a shell game for legislators in the VT legislature….always was, always likely will be.

    I recall a couple of decades ago a democrat legislator “sold” the new gasoline tax to Vermonters as a means of taxing those darned flat-landers because they had the gall to come here & use our roads & services whilst they spent millions of their dollars contributing to our state’s revenue.

    Once he got the mostly rural Vermonters all riled up with his bait about nothing less than what was pure xenophobia (something the democrats purportedly hate so much now, conveniently) – they all cheered for this additional tax —- which, of course, we ALL would be paying for for an eternity.

  5. The BUMBOCRATS / Tax and SPENDERS are ALWAYS on he hunt for more of OUR Money to STEAL and PISS AWAY. During orientation of NEW POLITOCOS I think they are INDOCTRINATED on how to STEAL our MONEY for their pet PROJECTS

  6. Tampax tax and Internet Tax on the same bill< What a BIG PAIL OF BS. Brought to you by the Tax and Spenders in MONTPECULIAR.

  7. Agreed, this is a very treacherous addition, hiding behind the Tampax shelf. Idiotic and Laughable ????
    Such a stupid idea under the “Capitol Dumb” to sneak in the services tax –
    a very major addition to our Tax Burden.

    Worst is the incredible paperwork burden for both the service providers, and a brand new gaggle of Vt Bureaucracts to keep track, and enforce.

    “Oil, Filter and lube, $39.95” at the Auto Service Shop. Figure the service tax on that! Every aspect has already been taxed!! Even the labor!