Look out, Google and Facebook.
Maryland is now set to become the first state in the nation to tax online ads. It's a trend, that if it catches on (and we predict it will), could likely sweep through the nation as money-hungry spend-o-crats look for more ways to finance their respective Green New Deals, government subsidized sex changes and racial equality seminars.
The state's House of Delegates and Senate both voted to override a veto of a bill from last year that would place a tax on online ads, according to NPR. The tax would apply to companies like Facebook and Google and will range from 2.5% to 10% per ad, depending on the value of the company selling the ad.
It's expected to net the state $250 million per year, which the state then says it will use to fund an overhaul of public education that is expected to cost $4 billion.
Those advocating for the tax say that it is simply Maryland's tax code trying to catch up to where the economy has wound up. Gov. Larry Hogan has said it would raise operating costs for businesses, who would then pass the costs on to the state and customers. Hogan has been fighting for the state to uphold his veto of the tax.
Doug Mayer, spokesman for Marylanders For Tax Fairness, a coalition of businesses created to fight the tax, said on Friday: "In Senate President Bill Ferguson's short tenure as a leader, he has managed to do what no other Senate President has ever done — raise taxes and costs on Marylanders in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. There is no doubt what took place today was a historic event, but not in the way President Ferguson hoped. This tax increase was historically shortsighted, foolish, and harmful to countless small businesses and employees, and Marylanders will remember it that way."
Ferguson pulled the solution for these criticisms directly out of the Democratic playbook last week: more regulation. He introduced "emergency legislation last week to prohibit Big Tech from simply passing along the costs of the new tax to local businesses," NPR wrote.
The new tax is likely going to result in lawsuits, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said last year. And the tax isn't just being considered in Maryland. Washington D.C. has also passed, and then repealed, a similar tax and more states are considering it, the report notes.
Baltimore bookstore owner Benn Ray concluded: "Beyond their infiltration into our daily lives, these big digital firms are further exploiting us by failing to pay taxes on this advertising, grabbing and monetizing our data without just compensation. This legislation is about fairness, making sure those who reap enormous profits in our state help support public services here. It's also about developing a tax code that keeps up with a changing economy. It's about ensuring we recognize the value of our personal data – at least as much as corporations do. And it's about ensuring that Marylanders — and not just large, global corporations – reap the benefits of the landmark economic changes happening around us."