Maine residents, already burdened with high costs for living, goods and services, deserve better than L.D. 1967 — a bill that, despite claims to the contrary, would increase taxes on Mainers.

L.D. 1967 disguises the new tax by designating streaming services under a new term — “Video Service Providers.” But this new category includes many popular streaming services and would force them to pay franchise fees, which will fall to consumers at up to 5% of where prices currently sit, by getting added to their monthly bill.

No matter what proponents try to say, L.D. 1967 is a tax, and one that is unacceptable for Maine residents.

Unsurprisingly, a majority of Mainers don’t support this bill, either. A November survey conducted by the Saint Anselm College Survey Center found that 69% of registered voters oppose new taxes and fees on streaming service. Their concern is understandable — it seems like streaming services increase their fees every month these days, but in the case of L.D. 1967, those price hikes could be attributed to bad policy.

When a similar bill was presented to her last legislative session, Gov. Janet Mills stood up for Maine families by vetoing the measure, saying she was “deeply concerned” that the bill would “make digital streaming services more costly and reduce service options for Mainers.”

With Mainers still struggling with increased costs due to inflation, we are once again counting on Gov. Mills to stand up for us and veto L.D. 1967.

Nathan Wadsworth, Hiram, former ranking member of the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee

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