Maybe you haven’t heard: One of Gov. O’Malley’s tax proposals this year is to extend the sales tax to digital products. That means digital media you download: ebooks, apps, music, newspapers, videos, ringtones, audio greeting cards and more could become subject to the state’s sales tax of 6 percent. So that 99 cents iTunes song you buy would cost around $1.05.
After reading the bill further, Sentementes found something interesting.
From the bill‘s list of what would be taxed:
(V) A NEWSPAPER, MAGAZINE, PERIODICAL, CHAT ROOM DISCUSSION, WEBLOG, OR OTHER SIMILAR PRODUCT THAT IS TRANSFERRED ELECTRONICALLY.
As Gus points out, it isn’t clear to which blogs this would apply. Would it be only blogs behind a paywall like those of Gus’s employer The Baltimore Sun (kudos to Gus for using that word – there were rumors of a crackdown on the usage of it by Sun staff when the paywall started.)
Presumably it could include some of the pay RSS feeds Amazon does for Kindle as well. There’s also an Amazon tax like other states have tried, according to Sentementes.
Depending on how the bill would attempt to tax blogs there are definite free speech questions.
UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers!