California bill would prevent streaming tax

CULVER CITY, Calif. (KGO) -- Netflix and other streaming video services could end up being taxed, but a state assemblyman has a bill that will stop that.

The bill would prevent utility taxes on streaming media companies for the next five years.

Many cities are losing significant utility tax revenue as consumers disconnect from cable and satellite services in favor of online options.

The bill's author says streaming media is a developing industry and there are too many variables to implement a fair tax.

"We are comfortable with the idea of taxation, but the devil's in the details," said Assemblymember Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, D-Culver City. "And this measure will give us a bit of time to work with the local government, consumers, industry and state tax administrators to figure out where the sweet spot may be.

He says a better option may be a sales tax or special fee on subscription services.

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