Texas Business Report: Cable Companies v. Satellite Providers

Could new legislation make cable more appealing than satellite television?
Fri April 5, 2013 7:30 pm

Cable Hook-Up

Texas cable TV customers may get a  break on their monthly bills thanks to a proposed measure working its way through the state legislature. An attempt to level the playing field between cable companies and rival satellite providers, HB 1900 would exempt subscribers from paying the 6.25 percent state sales tax on the first $75 of their bills, the  Austin Business Journal reports. 

In addition to the state sales tax, cable customers pay another 8.25 percent tax to cover local taxes and franchise fees (a total of 14.5 percent)—while satellite customers only have to pay the 6.25 percent sales tax.

The Bottom Line: Naturally, the Texas Cable Association is backing the proposed bill, hailing it as “the biggest consumer tax cut proposal of the 83rd session,” according to the ABJ. Satellite providers beg to differ, arguing that the local cable fees—which pay for installing cable lines in public easements—“should be treated as a  cost of doing business, much like the costs satellite companies incur from maintaining satellites in space,” the Texas Tribune reports.

Plant Down Under

Exxon Mobil released details this week about its plan to build the world’s largest floating liquefied natural gas plant off the coast of Australia. Stretching more than 500 yards in length, the processing and export facility would “bump up Australia’s current LNG production by nearly 30 percent,” Reuters reports. Irving-based Exxon would build and operate the plant in a fifty-fifty partnership with BHP Billiton.

Floating LNG production, which Reuters describes as an

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