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On Monday, April 24, CompTIA testified in support of legislation CA AB 252, which would have temporarily prohibited localities from imposing any tax, such as sales, use, UUT, etc., on subscription video streaming services. Additionally, during testimony, CompTIA requested the prohibition be expanded to protect audio and video game streaming too. While there was support from industry, the bill was strongly opposed by a number of localities and the California Cable and Telecommunications Association.
Ultimately, the author of the bill and chair of the committee, Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, D-Calif., retained the bill in committee, but referred the subject matter to the Committee on Rules for assignment to a study committee.
It was likely CA AB 252 had the votes to pass out of the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee, but would have faced opposition in the Local Government Committee, where it would have gone next because it was double-referred. To avoid defeat this session, the chair elected to hold the bill and refer to an interim study committee to facilitate further discussion and intends to continue to push the local streaming tax prohibition effort next year. The bill will automatically be carried over.
CompTIA will continue to support the bill and its expansion in the future and will engage in the study committee process going forward.
Kara Bush is director, government affairs western region, with CompTIA.