The Iowa House has voted against a Senate-backed plan that seeks to tax music, movies and ring tones that’re downloaded from the Internet. Critics of the idea said it was ridiculous to expect people to keep track of their Internet downloads, and send the state a check for sales tax on each transaction.
Representative Thomas Schueller, a Democrat from Maquoketa, said the debate had been an eye-opening experience. “I now understand what a ring tone is. Before this bill, I had no clue,” he said. “…I think I might actually be able to download one now, too.” The tax on Internet downloads have been stuck in a bill that dealt with all sorts of tax issues. The Senate now must decide whether to insist on what some have called the “iPod” tax.
Another provision tucked into the bill, and which got House backing, would forbid businesses from stocking vending machines with both snacks and smokes. Representative Schueller nicknamed it the “Twinkie Clause.” “This is an obvious good change. It prohibits cigarettes and cigars from being displayed and/or dispensed from the same vending machines as snacks or candies,” he says. “No one wants junior going to the (vending) machine to buy a Twinkie, and come back with a Marlboro instead.”