Downloading that Miley Cyrus hit from Wal-Mart for 94 cents might soon cost about another 7 cents. A Beyonce ringtone purchased from a cell phone company may get tagged a few extra cents, too.
The money wouldn't go to the musicians or their record companies. It would go to the state of North Carolina.
N.C. legislators moved closer Tuesday to applying the state sales tax – 6.75 cents in most counties and 7.25 in Mecklenburg – to products that are delivered digitally, such as music, books, ringtones and software downloaded to a computer.
The tax would apply only to products that already are taxed when they are in a more tangible form. In other words, if customers pay tax on a Lil Wayne CD from the music store at the mall, then they'll pay tax when they buy his songs from an online music vendor.
“It's reacting to electronic realities,” said Rep. Paul Luebke, a Durham Democrat who is co-chairman of a legislative committee that overwhelmingly recommended a bill Tuesday to impose the ringtone tax.
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