New Yorkers could be facing a tax on digital subscription streaming media services for music, TV and audiobooks as well as a fee for delivery services in order to raise money for mass transit under measures contained in a budget proposal being advanced Thursday in the state Assembly.
The tax and fee provisions come as New York is seeking to raise billions of dollars for mass transit as well as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in the New York City region.
The Democratic-led Assembly’s budget plan would add a 4% state sales tax and a 4% local sales tax for digital streaming products including TV, audiobooks, podcasts, online gaming and music. Cable and satellite TV would be exempt from the tax.
Money from the streaming taxes is expected to raise millions of dollars, including $29 million in the first year it’s in place, for the MTA and eventually as much as $63 million in the coming years.
For mass transit systems outside of the MTA service area, revenue from the tax would eventually reach $40 million.
At the same time, the Assembly wants a 25-cent fee applied to every delivery transaction in New York, which would cover both online and in-store purchases. Medicine, medical supplies, food, diapers and baby formula would be exempt from the fee.
Lawmakers want to direct the money raised from the taxes to aid both the MTA as well as mass transit systems across the state.
The proposals come as Gov. Kathy Hochul has proposed measures meant to raise more money for the MTA this year, including a payroll mobility tax for the transit system’s service area and use money from casino licenses in New York City to boost the authority as well.