Niagara Gazette

Columns

March 26, 2013

CONFER: Stop the satellite TV tax

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Satellite companies shouldn’t see a similar fee because they don’t require any of those things – the homeowner is the only one entered in a contract with the company and it’s solely the homeowner’s property (not public property) being used. It should also be noted that satellite providers already pay a franchise fee of sorts (albeit to Washington) because they transmit over a radio spectrum that is managed by — and allegedly owned by — the federal government. That’s something that cable companies don’t pay.

Parker’s bill is just another battle in a frustrating, long war.

In the case of my family, we made a concerted effort to save ourselves a pretty penny by choosing to do without some of our favorite channels, only to see a nice chunk of our savings potentially skimmed away by the government. This is nothing new to any of us: Think back to the darkest days of the recession, a time when households across the state made numerous cuts in their budgets in an effort to keep up with job losses or diminished hours at work — those savings were totally negated by school/property taxes that went up like clockwork and the addition of $1.3 billion in new taxes and fees instituted by the state to cover their own budget problems.

And people wonder why it seems like we New Yorkers can never get ahead … it is always one step forward and one step — if not many more — back.

That’s why we shouldn’t let this tax become a reality. Contact your state senator and let him or her know that S.3827 (the Multichannel Video Programming Distributor Competition Act) needs to be canned. Remember, there’s strength in numbers — there’s already been a significant outpouring of feedback thanks to satellite service providers having initiated a kill-the-bill campaign with their subscribers. Even Sen. George Maziarz (R-Newfane) has stated that the bill is “dead on arrival” if it reaches the Telecommunications Committee he chairs. Let’s hope so.

Gasport resident Bob Confer also writes for the New American magazine at TheNewAmerican.com. Follow him on Twitter @bobconfer

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