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An Oklahoma lawmaker just proposed a bill that would levy a sales tax on newspapers and magazines sold in the state.A new sales tax definitely wouldn’t be great for consumers, but it’d be an even bigger hit to the struggling print media industry.
Sen. Jim Wilson, D-Tahlequah, told Tulsa World the bill could bring in an extra $17 million per year, which would be just enough to afford a $5,000 raise for all nationally board certified teachers in the state.
“The state made an agreement to pay teachers $5,000 per year if they became nationally board certified,” Wilson said. “We need to get our priorities straight. I believe it’s much more important to keep our promises to these educators than to provide sales tax exemptions for newspapers.” (See whether sales taxes coming to an online retailer near you.)
But he never guaranteed the state would funnel those funds into teachers’ paychecks. Wilson got his estimate from the Oklahoma Tax Commission and a spokesperson for the Oklahoma Press Association was quick to shoot them down.
Mark Thomas estimated the tax would bring in $2 million. Oklahoma’s current state sales tax hovers around the 8.5 per cent mark.
The media has enjoyed a host of government subsidies for decades, which includes postal discounts, legal notice publication, tax breaks, and funds for public broadcasting.
Tell us: Would you pay for a newspaper if it was taxed?