As anyone who follows Kansas news may have heard, Gov. Laura Kelly is proposing a bill which would put a sales tax on all streaming service subscriptions including both video (Netflix) and music (Apple Music) services, as well as any video game downloads one procures in the state of Kansas.
This tax was proposed to the House and the Senate in the Kansas state budget by Kelly Jan. 16.
Now, as a student who uses multiple streaming services (Hulu, Netflix, CBS All Access, Spotify, Disney+) this was kind of a shock to learn. I mean, I pay for my own Wi-Fi every month so that I can stream these services, and now I am going to have to pay more than the annual or monthly fee I already pay to keep these services? That seems a little ridiculous to me.
I’m not dense, I realize that as streaming services have increased, cable networks and DVD stores have certainly lost business and thus the revenue from said services has decreased.
I’m sure that due to this lack of revenue the governor is probably trying to make up the loss, especially since the proposal is supposedly set to bring in $26.7 million for the state. That is a lot of money, so I see how it could be beneficial.
On the flip side of this, I don’t see very many people who pay for their own services and Wi-Fi being very open to this tax.
We pay for the internet to stream and download these things. Isn’t that enough? If one pays between $40 & $60 per month for Wi-Fi, $7/month for Disney+, $12/month for Netflix, $6/month for the most basic level of Hulu, between $5-$9/month for Spotify or Apple Music, and $13/month for Amazon Prime it adds up.
If one has a monthly subscription to all of these they are spending between $83 and $107 a month and $996 and $1,284 per year already.
This all feels very "Boston Tea Party" like to me. But at the end of the day we can’t dump all of our streaming services into Lake Shawnee (nor would we want to,) so we have to address this issue a little bit more elegantly. Speak up, make your voice heard, write a letter to your representatives, and discuss with people why you do or do not support this tax. Otherwise you may end up paying more than you already do for the things you enjoy.
Edited by Abbie Barth, Adam White, Jada Johnson, Wesley Tabor