House Overrides Hogan's Veto Of Digital Ad Tax
The House of Delegates continued overriding Gov. Larry Hogan’s vetoes Thursday. One of the bills the House passed increases taxes on tobacco products and imposes a new tax on digital advertising.
The digital advertising tax applies to companies that bring in at least $100 million in total revenue worldwide.
House Majority Leader Eric Luedtke, the bill’s sponsor, said the bill is about fairness.
“We believe everybody should pay their fair share, and unfortunately, we have a situation where there are some corporations that don't,” he said. “Why is it that the owners of Thurmont Kountry Kitchen or the Severna Park Taphouse or the original Greene Turtle in Ocean City have to pay taxes and Facebook and Google essentially pay no taxes in the state of Maryland?”
On the floor Thursday afternoon, Republicans argued in favor of sustaining Hogan’s veto.
House Minority Leader Nic Kipke was one of a few delegates who predicted the bill will be struck down in court as unconstitutional. But if the bill does take effect, Kipke said Maryland businesses will be the ones paying the tax, “one way or the other,” not the big tech companies selling the online ads.
Luedtke is sponsoring another bill this year that would prevent companies affected by the tax from “directly” passing on the cost to advertisers. It also exempts news outlets from the tax.
But Kipke said Luedtke’s fix isn’t sufficient.
“I'd like to see Google pay for it,” Kipke said. “But this isn't the right way to do it. We need to be smart.”
The Senate is expected to vote Friday on whether to override several of the governor’s vetoes, including the one of this bill.