According to CNET, with retail e-commerce sales now estimated to exceed $130 billion a year, and iTunes song purchases topping 5 billion, state politicians and tax collectors have begun to levy new fees on digital downloads. Call it the iTax. In 2008 alone, at least nine states have considered digital download taxes, and at least five of those states have enacted them into law. Nebraska’s governor signed a digital download tax bill into law in April, and a similar measure was adopted in Tennessee in June. As CNET News reported a few months ago, Indiana, South Dakota, and Utah also enacted digital download taxes this year.
The push stems from an odd legal quirk: because most states’ tax laws were written long before the Internet existed, they may accidentally immunize downloads from taxation. This is the case even in otherwise high-tax states like California, where physical CDs are taxed heavily but iTunes downloads remain tax-free for now. Tech industry groups like NetChoice, which counts eBay, AOL, and Yahoo as members, have been lobbying against the rise in so-called iTaxes–with limited success…

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