The Texas Legislature convened on January 8, 2013. We look forward to working with legislators on a number of important issues, including a much deserved tax cut for video subscribers in Texas. Learn more here.
Recap of the 2011 Texas Legislative Session
During the 2011 Legislative Session the cable industry had two key policy objectives aimed at creating a level playing field for video services in the state.
Video Franchising Parity: Allow cable providers to opt into the State Issued Certificate of Franchise Authority (SICFA) regime effective September 1, 2011.
Rationale: Under current law, new market entrants are automatically under SICFA and certain providers are allowed to terminate municipal franchises. Other incumbent providers, however, are not allowed to transition to SICFA until their existing municipal franchise agreements expire – many of which do not expire for many years. This dual system not only tilts the competitive landscape, but also creates unnecessary administrative burdens by having providers across the state operating under different rules and regulations.
Tax Parity for Video Providers: DirecTV and DishNetwork are now the second and third largest video distributors in the United States– large companies that do not need special advantages over their cable, phone, and wireless competitors.
Today’s video marketplace is intensely competitive. In Texas, cable pays taxes and fees approaching 13.25%, compared with 6.25% paid by DBS providers. This tax advantage for DBS is no longer needed in our fully competitive marketplace. After all, TV is TV. More.