Wake-up, California – your iTunes prices are under attack (again).

That’s right – assemblyman Charles Calderon is back with another attempt to levy a tax on digital downloads, just two months after Californian voter anger saw his last attempt to do the same thing chucked out with a vengeance. In April, the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee on a bipartisan vote rejected a legislative proposal to extend California’s sales and use tax to digital property.

So what’s this guy pushing for this time (other than more money for the government)? Turns out to be the same again, only this time split into two parts, presumably on the basis that if one set of rules is approved, it will set some kind of precedent to more easily force through this tax. (Not that we’re lawyers, not that we’re Californians, even, but we do know that’s how bureaucrats like to force through that awful system creep).

"Sales of Digital Property. AB 22XXX (Calderon), introduced June 25, requires the State Board of Equalization to report to the Legislature on the sales of digital property. The report must include a proposed regulation to tax such property, and a revenue estimate. This bill is keyed a majority-vote bill.

"Tax on Sales of Digital Property. AB 23XXX (Calderon) introduced June 25, imposes the sales tax on digital property. The bill is keyed a two-thirds vote bill.

The legislation is intended to extend the sales and use tax to downloads of online music, movies, ring tones, games, books and other digital property."

So far as we can tell, it’s time to dust off your letter-writing skills once again to see Calderon’s dual-pronged second attempt rejected. The last attempt was rejected after a campaign by Cal-Tax, over 130 Californian companies and others.

Thanks to the CalTax letter for the detail.

About the Author