A number of Connecticut digital advertising bills and a New York data tax bill have been introduced to jumpstart the 2023 legislative sessions. Both states have considered – but ultimately rejected – legislation that would adopt targeted taxes on the digital economy in recent years.
On January 18, 2023, proposed legislation was filed in the Connecticut House (HB 5673) and Senate (SB 351) that would establish a 10 percent tax on the annual gross revenues of any business with annual gross revenues exceeding $10 billion from digital advertising services. HB 5658 was also proposed, which similarly calls for a 10 percent tax on the annual gross revenues from digital advertising services on any business with annual gross revenues exceeding $10 billion, with no caveat that revenues be from digital advertising services. Similar proposals were introduced in Connecticut during the 2021 legislative session. Because Connecticut legislators may introduce legislation as a short statement in non-statutory language, HB 3573, SB 351, and HB 5658 lack the formal statutory language normally found in other states. The Joint Committee on Finance, Revenue and Bonding will now consider these proposed bills and determine if it should be sent to the Legislative Commissioners’ Office for full drafting of the bill’s text.
New York legislators are back at it again, too. On January 17, 2023, S1845 was filed and referred to the Budget and Revenue Committee. The legislation proposes to impose a 5 percent tax on the gross income of every corporation that derives income from the data New York individuals share with such corporations. The bill says little about how the tax will work – and fails to define or use existing defined terms within New York’s franchise tax. As written, it is unclear whether the income to be taxed is limited to gross income earned from data procured from New York individuals or if a broader base (i.e., any gross income) applies. This bill is similar to legislation introduced in both the 2021 and 2022 legislative sessions that did not make it out of committee.