COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld a state sales tax for satellite TV providers that cable competitors don’t have to pay, rejecting arguments from the satellite industry that the tax is unfair.
The court ruled the 2003 tax does not violate the US Constitution’s Commerce Clause because the tax is based on differences between the nature of the businesses and does not favor in-state interests at the expense of out-of-state interests. Satellite companies had argued that subjecting them and not their cable rivals to the tax violates their rights to interstate commerce because their companies operate between states while cable companies operate within them.
The 5.5 percent sales tax on satellite TV generated about $54 million for the state in the fiscal year that ended June 30. Cable operators pay local fees.