Ohio Supreme Court: State Sales Tax OK For Satellite, But Not Cable

Giving an odd boost to cable providers, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled the state could slap a sales tax on satellite TV services even though cable companies don’t need to tack the tax on to their packages.

The Columbus Dispatch reports the satellite sales tax hauls in $59 million a year for the state. Had the court ruled that the tax was unjust, DirecTV and Dish Network subscribers would have saved $80 a year.

The justice who wrote the majority decision wrote the law “does not violate the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, because the tax is based on the nature of those businesses, not the nature of their activities, and it does not favor in-state interests at the expense of out-of-state interests.”

Got all that? The Chief Justice offered a dissent that makes a bit more sense, writing Ohio “treats sellers of same service differently. That’s discrimination.”

Top court affirms Ohio’s tax on satellite TV [The Columbus Dispatch]