Skip to content
Home » News » New York State » Lawmakers want to tax streaming services to pay for mass transit in NYC

Lawmakers want to tax streaming services to pay for mass transit in NYC

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

New Yorkers may soon be facing taxes on digital subscription streaming media services for music, TV, and audiobooks as well as a fee for delivery services to raise money for mass transit. These measures are included in a budget proposal being advanced Thursday in the state Assembly.

New York is seeking to raise billions of dollars for mass transit, as well as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in the New York City region. The Democratic-led Assembly’s budget plan would add a 4% state sales tax and a 4% local sales tax for digital streaming products, including TV, audiobooks, podcasts, online gaming, and music. Cable and satellite TV would be exempt from the tax.

Money from the streaming taxes is expected to raise millions of dollars, including $29 million in the first year it’s in place, for the MTA and eventually as much as $63 million in the coming years. For mass transit systems outside of the MTA service area, revenue from the tax would eventually reach $40 million.

Meanwhile, the Assembly proposes a 25-cent fee applied to every delivery transaction in New York, covering both online and in-store purchases. Medicine, medical supplies, food, diapers, and baby formula would be exempt from the fee.

Lawmakers want to direct the money raised from the taxes to aid both the MTA and mass transit systems across the state.

Gov. Kathy Hochul has proposed measures to raise more money for the MTA this year, including a payroll mobility tax for the transit system’s service area, and using money from casino licenses in New York City to boost the authority as well.