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Taxing digital ads could bring Maryland $250 million — and a hefty legal challenge

Paul Romer
 

By Paul Romer (original source Washington Post)

Paul Romer, WWSG Exclusive Speaker, Economist and Nobel laureate was involved in a hearing recently in Annapolis, Maryland speaking to lawmakers on the runway use of Marylander’s data and one possible way to curtail that issue may be to tax the platforms. 

“A novel proposal to tax targeted digital ads in Maryland could be extremely lucrative — provided it can survive an expected legal challenge from the world’s largest Internet and social media companies.

As Maryland lawmakers on Wednesday began debating whether to become the first state in the country to tax targeted online advertising, legislative analysts said such a tax could generate far more than originally estimated — as much as ­$250 million per year. That would cover roughly a quarter of the tab for Democrats’ prized plan to revamp public schools.

But analysts and opponents also cautioned that the online advertising proposal may run afoul of both the First Amendment and federal laws against taxing Internet companies in a discriminatory way. Opponents described the tax in catastrophic terms, and some suggested passage of the bill would lead to a lengthy court fight.”

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