CORDOVA - One Republican Illinois House member is declaring that he's set on opposing the proposed tax on satellite TV in the January "lame duck" session. While AFSCME and the Illinois Federation of Teachers encourage the tax to help pay for their members' unpaid pension obligations, State Representative Rich Morthland of Cordova says the new tax is, at best, an "ill-contrived attempt to distract from the major issues facing our State."
Lots of calls are coming in against the tax, Morthland said.
“Here’s another fee that will prove to be ineffective and irresponsible in our current economic condition. The budgets of hard working families and businesses are already stretched to their limits,” said Rep. Morthland. “To make matters worse, this tax unfairly punishes rural residents and other downstate folks who only have access to the coverage that satellite television affords.”
Proponents of HB5440 claim it will raise about $75 million, which would be used to bolster education funding. Rep. Morthland questions that revenue projection number, noting that an already struggling economy conflates projections and provides for decreasing tax revenues. Furthermore, Morthland claims that the tax is a thinly veiled attempt by Cable Television companies to unfairly hurt their competitors.
“Adding the tax to satellite TV bills would be like charging toll-way fees to airline passengers,” said Morthland. “These customers are doing business miles and miles above the infrastructure that traditional Cable companies interact with. This tax is fundamentally unfair and misdirected”
HB 5440 passed the Senate on vote of 30-27. The bill is likely to be brought for a vote on the House floor during the upcoming January session.