Wisconsin Governor Proposing Internet Sales Tax



I lived for over 40 years in Wisconsin until I migrated out here to the left coast. I am sure glad I moved. The tax-happy Democratic Governor of Wisconsin, Jim Doyle, has decided that the State’s 5% sales tax should be applied to anything downloaded from the Internet. Music, ebooks, software, and other online purchases that normally go untaxed would now be the responsibilty of the Wisconsin residents to claim and pay the 5% sales tax. Dumb idea Mr. Doyle.

Thank God for a few sane folks in the Wisconsin Government, Republican Rep. Scott Jensen, who dubbed the governor’s idea an “iPod” tax, said he will ask his fellow Republicans who control the Legislature to kill it. “Unlike Gov. Doyle, I want to encourage electronic commerce,” he said. “As the budget process moves forward, I will be working to push the ‘delete’ button on Gov. Doyle’s iPod tax.”

Jensen is one of 16 legislators on the Joint Finance Committee, which will hold its first public hearing on Doyle’s $53 billion budget on Wednesday in Watertown. The Finance Committee will draft its own two-year budget in April or May, and then forward it to the full Legislature.A Legislative Fiscal Bureau summary of Doyle’s proposal says it would extend the 5% sales tax to “audio works,” including music, books on tape and pre-recorded speeches; “audiovisual works,” including movies, music videos and live events; “finished artwork,” including paintings, designs and photographs; and “literary works,” including books.

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Todd Cochrane is the Founder of Geek News Central and host of the Geek News Central Podcast. He is a Podcast Hall of Fame Inductee and was one of the very first podcasters in 2004. He wrote the first book on podcasting, and did many of the early Podcast Advertising deals in the podcasting space. He does two other podcasts in addition to Geek News Central. The New Media Show and Podcast Legends.