If you live in the state of New York, you could find yourself paying sales tax on downloadable content (DLC) for video games, beginning in 2009.
That’s because, much like the private sector, state and local governments have been hit hard by the current recession. In New York, Gov. David Paterson (D) has responded by proposing a budget that calls for layoffs, service cutbacks and new taxes, including one that will likely add to the cost of your DLC on Xbox 360, PS3, Wii or PC.
The New York Daily News has coverage of Paterson’s budget plan:
Gov. Paterson’s proposed $121 billion budget hits New Yorkers in their iPods – and nickels-and-dimes them in lots of other places, too.
Trying to close a $15.4 billion budget gap, Paterson called for 88 new fees and a host of other taxes, including an "iPod tax" that taxes the sale of downloaded music and other "digitally delivered entertainment services."
Indeed, a review of the budget document reveals the details of Paterson’s plan to tax all forms of digitally-delivered content:
Close Digital Property Taxation Loophole. Imposes state and local sales tax on purchases of prewritten software, digital audio, audio-visual and text files, digital photographs, games, and other electronically delivered entertainment services to achieve tax parity. For example, with the passage of this bill, a book, song, album, or movie would be subject to sales tax no matter if it was bought at a brick and mortar store or downloaded online.