WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court has brought an end to objections by satellite TV companies that a 2003 Ohio sales tax was unfair because it was imposed on them and not cable TV operators.
The justices, without any comment, upheld a 2010 decision by the Ohio Supreme Court that the sales tax did not violate the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution.
By doing so, the justices rejected an appeal by DirecTV Inc. and Echostar Satellite Corp., who have long contended that the sales tax discriminated against the companies and their customers.
They argued that the sales tax was unconstitutional because satellite companies tend to operate between states. By contrast, cable companies usually operate inside one state. But cable companies pointed out they pay a franchise fee to local governments while satellite companies do not.
Jonathon McGee, executive director of the Ohio Cable Telecommunications Association, said in a statement that his organization was “pleased’’ that the high court “upheld the decision of the Ohio Supreme Court,” and numerous other state courts in this matter. The tax generates about $54 million a year to the state.
Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.