U.S. eyes flurry of new taxes on Amazon, Facebook and Google, trying to force tech to pay its ‘fair share’

Tony Romm

February 16, 2021

Originally published in The Washington Post on February 16, 2021.

Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

Maryland voted to adopt a new tax targeting online advertising on Friday as states nationwide take fresh aim at an industry that has posted billion-dollar profits during the pandemic

State lawmakers across the country are exploring a range of new taxes targeting Amazon, Facebook, Google and other Internet giants, seeking to capture some of Silicon Valley’s eye-popping profits and soaring share prices in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

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New York lawmakers have put forward a raft of similar proposals as they stare down a massive $20 billion revenue shortfall over the next four years. Others in the state have sought to return the tech industry’s record-breaking profits back to the people, believing that the public should share more directly in the financial gains generated from their personal data. A bill from Sen. Kevin Thomas (D), for example, taxes tech giants to set up a new program for undergraduate students so that they can refinance their college debts at friendlier interest rates.

“Data is the new commodity out there,” said Thomas, who serves on a key tax-focused panel in Albany. “It gives companies the advantage in the market, and they make billions of dollars on it. And they’re not paying a penny to the people or the state.”

Read the full story in the Washington Post