JBE’s Plan For Your Evening: Netflix And…Taxes

This is John Bel Edwards’ version of Netflix and chill, and it’s not better than the real thing.

Streaming services such as Netflix and Spotify as well as digital purchases of books, videos and apps on mobile devices would be newly taxed starting Nov. 1 under a plan  Gov. John Bel Edwards is pushing.

The governor is backing House Bill 562 filed by Rep. Katrina Jackson, D-Monroe, that would expand state and local sales taxes to new products and areas, including digital services and purchases as well as cable television and satellite radio subscriptions.

Other types of services — everything from massages and landscaping to certain types of debt collection and insurance appraisals — would also be newly subjected to state and local sales taxes, under this legislation.

Louisiana has the highest combined state and local sales tax in the country, and after instituting that grand scheme Edwards still has a budget deficit. Inexplicably, one imagines this man thinks, increased taxes on economic activity produce smaller amounts of that economic activity – and therefore, one gets diminishing returns from tax increases.

The answer: find more and more and ever more things to tax.

Anyone who votes for HB 562 ought to be run out of office at the first opportunity. So should Edwards, of course, but that goes without saying.

In a state with such low educational outcomes as Louisiana’s public schools produce, despite being ahead of the median on per-student public K-12 spending, we might add, does anyone really think it’s a good idea to tax digital book sales?

Welcome to the 2017 Regular Legislative Session, which starts today.

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