FTC Proposes Five Percent Tax On Electronics


Posted June 4, 2010 - By Stephen Johnson

Burning MoneyIn order to "prompt discussion of whether to recommend policy changes to support the ongoing reinvention of journalism," the Federal Trade Commission is proposing a tax on consumer electronics. If passed, the proposal would add 5 percent to the cost of iPads, game systems and other devices. The money would presumably be used to subsidize paper-based sources of information.

Yeah, that should prompt a discussion... a discussion that begins with "What??!"

As you may have read on the internet, print journalism -- magazines, newspapers, racing forms -- is having a rough time adjusting to the new electronic landscape. Publications have only had around 15 years or so to find a way to adapt to new technology and make money from ads, so the government is trying to find a way to help them out, potentially with your tax money.

Other changes up for discussion include changing rules of copyright to bestow greater rights on publishers to keep people from re-posting as much, and other ways of extracting payment from news aggregators.

Check out the proposal and see if it prompts some discussion in our comment section.

FTC Proposes Five Percent Tax On Electronics