Wisc. Legislature Approves Download Tax

Tod Hunter
MADISON, Wisc. — Wisconsin lawmakers have approved a bill requiring a five-percent sales tax on Internet downloads including adult content. The tax goes into effect Oct. 1.

"This is not a straightforward issue and it's going to take some time to have the system up and running," Wisconsin House Majority Leader Tom Nelson said.

A representative with the Illinois Department of Revenue told reporters that Illinois looked into taxing the web as well, but opted out because of the difficulty of taxing businesses that don't have physical locations in the state.

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle has said that the tax — music, E-books, greeting cards and ring tones — will generate about $11 million over the next two years. The state is short almost $600 million for the budget ending June 30, and the next budget faces a deficit of $5.7 billion.

A similar proposal presented two years ago did not make it out of committee.