Democrats in New York are reportedly weighing a new four percent tax on streaming entertainment subscriptions like Netflix and Hulu to help bail out New York City’s failing subway system, which is facing a $2.5 billion budget deficit by 2025.
Lawmakers are desperately seeking to avoid yet another fare hike that would push the cost of a subway ride to $3 from the current $2.75. The proposed streaming tax would raise more than $100 million a year, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D) had originally intended to prevent a fare increase through a hike in payroll taxes, which would reportedly generate $700 million in revenue. But her plan appears dead in the water, forcing Democrats to scramble to find an alternative.
The proposal would not be the first so-called “Netflix tax” passed in the United States. As of 2017, according to USA Today, several cities and states receive revenue from additional fees on streaming video subscriptions:
Chicago, Pennsylvania and Florida have already passed a so-called Netflix tax, and cities such as Pasadena, Calif. have broached the issue.
These taxes can translate to additional fees of less than $1 each month to consumers. But over the months — and tacked onto multiple streaming subscriptions — they might add up to $50 or more each year.
New York City’s subway system has fallen into disrepair and chaos under the city and state’s Democrat leadership.
Ridership has failed to rebound following the coronavirus pandemic while crime is soaring. The city’s subway crime rate skyrocketed 30 percent in 2022 from the previous year, outstripping the 22 percent increase in major crimes across the city during the same period, according to NYPD data.
In a recent video that went viral, a black subway passenger was seen shouting racial insults at a white family that was traveling with a small children. The black passenger used the term “white monkey” and shouted, “I’m black American. I’m over you!”
Another measure floating around the New York Assembly is a proposed 50 cent surcharge for ridesharing services like Uber.
Former gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin (R) slammed the proposals as another yet sign of New York’s continued decay under Hochul’s leadership.
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