On April 7, 2021, the New York Legislature passed the New York Budget Bill for fiscal year 2022 (S2509–C/A3009-C) (the “Enacted Budget”), ushering in a slew of tax increases for businesses and high-income earners. As of the time of publication of this post, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had not yet signed the Enacted Budget, but has indicated that he will do so. The Enacted Budget is the result of a months-long negotiation process that…
As part of the growing trend of states seeking to tax digital activities and data, New York is considering yet another data tax proposal that would tax the collection of personal data for commercial purposes. This latest proposal—which is contained in Senate Bill 4959—would impose a new excise tax “on the collection of consumer data of individual New York consumers by commercial data collectors.” The tax would apply regardless of how the data is collected, whether by electronic or other means. Under the proposal, “consumer data” is “any information that identifies, relates to, describes, is capable of being associated with, or could reasonably be linked with a consumer, whether directly submitted to the commercial data collector by the consumer or derived from other sources,” and a “consumer” includes individuals who purchase goods or services from a commercial data collector and individuals who use the services of a commercial data collector, whether charged for those services or not. A “commercial data collector” is a “for-profit entity that: (i) collects, maintains, uses, processes, sells or shares consumer data in support of its business activities; and (ii) collects consumer data, other than consumer contact information, on more than one million individual New York consumers in a month within the calendar year.” The bill would add the tax to a new section 186-h, within Article 9 of the New York Tax Law.
State legislators have already proposed a number of digital and data tax bills in 2021, some of which are new proposals while others reintroduce proposals from previous legislative sessions. The proposed bills fall into one of three categories: taxes on digital advertising services, taxes (or fees) targeting social media providers, and taxes on the sale or monetization of personal data. Most of the proposals are in the early stages, but a Maryland bill originally introduced last year is moving closer to a legislative vote on whether to override the governor’s veto.
Several states continue to move forward with the taxation of digital advertising and new tax proposals have entered the fray. We last updated you on the attempts by Maryland, Nebraska, and New York. Nebraska had a hearing on its sales tax bill in February, with relatively little movement after that. In contrast, Maryland and New York have continued their move towards imposing taxes on digital advertising in some form and West Virginia has entered the mix.