A coalition of Maryland business groups has launched a campaign to persuade state lawmakers “to nix a pioneering tax on digital ads,” reports The Washington Post.
The coalition, which calls itself Marylanders for Tax Fairness, states the tax would ultimately hurt small businesses that advertise online.
The General Assembly passed the tax this spring to raise $250 million a year for education. According to the Post, “Democratic leaders described the proposal as a targeted tax on social media and Internet giants such as Facebook, Twitter and Google, which tailor online ads based on user data. The tax is levied on the big companies who run the ads, but the new coalition argues the expense would be passed on to those who buy the advertisements.”
The tax was approved on a party-line vote in March, continues the Post, just as the coronavirus pandemic was prompting nationwide shutdowns, and Gov. Larry Hogan (R) vetoed it in May. The General Assembly, where Democrats hold a veto-proof majority, will take up whether to sustain or overturn the veto when it reconvenes in January.
The coalition includes the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, the state’s chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business, the Maryland Retailers Association and the Maryland,-Delaware-D.C. Press Association.