DirecTV and Dish Network are challenging a new 5 percent sales tax on satellite television service in Massachusetts. The levy is part of the 2010 budget plan approved by the House and Senate last summer.
Satellite companies said the tax was unwarranted, since it wasn’t also applied to cable TV providers. Yet cable companies have long complained about a 5 percent “franchise fee’’ levied on them but not satellite providers.
The franchise fee, though, is given to cities and towns to compensate for poles and wires cable companies must erect to deliver their service. Satellite companies beam their signal from a satellite directly to a home dish receiver.
The lawsuit was being filed yesterday.