AUGUSTA – Governor Janet Mills is planning on collecting more than $15 million in new revenue in her first term from a bill that proposes a new tax on streaming video services such as Netflix, YouTube, Hulu as well as music streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora. On Wednesday, the Maine Legislature’s Taxation Committee voted along party lines to approve the bill.
The bill, L.D. 2011, is sponsored by State Rep. Ryan Tipping (D – Orono) but was proposed by the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services under the authority of Governor Janet Mills. As Maine Examiner previously reported, Governor Mills is already counting on the new revenue from the bill as part of her recently introduced supplemental budget proposal, which plans to increase state spending by over $100 million more than the state budget that passed last year.
On March 4,
the Taxation Committee voted along party lines to support the bill, with
Democrats supporting the new tax, and Republicans opposing it.
bill, virtually any seller of video or audio streaming services that makes
sales to Maine consumers would be required to collect and remit the tax to the
state of Maine.
The tax is
tucked into a bill that also makes changes to several other parts of Maine’s
tax code which are far more mundane.
group Maine People Before Politics has been critical of Governor Mills’
approach on this bill. They say that when Mills introduced her new spending
plan, she claimed that it contained “no tax increases” and “no gimmicks.”
the streaming tax in a separate piece of legislation her administration proposed
and then adding the revenue into her spending plan, MPBP says Mills is not only
breaking her campaign promise of no tax increases, but also that she is using
the exact sort of gimmick she said she was not using.
2011 can become law, it will need to be approved by the full Maine House and
The Maine Legislature’s
Taxation Committee is comprised of thirteen members: