Germany introduces Internet Tax
Please read on this is a funny story, I promise you that. Germans pay about 19$ a month if they own a television. This fee was introduced right after the war to subsidize state independent TV stations that would not require payments from the German state. Only a couple of stations were available right after the war and it made sense to make sure that TV could not be used by the state to manipulate the population.
Nowadays you have dozens of TV stations but you still pay the money for those state independent ones. All private stations in Germany do not get part of the money, and what may be even worse, most high level positions in the administration are occupied by politicians of ruling parties in Germany.
The funny thing about this tax is that you have to pay if you own a TV, it does not matter if you are actually watching the stations that get the money. So, even if you would use your TV exclusively for DVDs and video games you would have to pay the 19$ a month.
It was decided a few years ago to charge anyone who has a PC with an INTERNET connection as well which means if you do not have a TV you still have to pay if you have a PC with INTERNET connection (who does not ?) because you could view the very limited streams that those TV stations offer on their website.
It begins to get funny right now. If you run a business you have to pay for private and business use which means you pay for a private TV and for your PC with Internet connection at work. You would also pay for your mobile if it is capable of that.Â Oh, did I mention that you also pay if you run a dedicated server somewhere? Yeah that is right, you pay those fees because the dedicated server is connected to the Internet.
It does not matter that you do not have physical access to the server nor that there is no monitor to watch the streams if you would make it into the secured server room.
The most disturbing aspect of this Internet tax is that you have to pay because you could watch the streams on the Internet pages, you do not pay because you do. Does anyone else think this is kinda weird? What is happening in your country, do you have similar experiences ?
Update: Germany has changed the system slightly starting January 1, 2013. All German households have to pay the monthly fee now regardless of whether they own a PC, television, radio or other mobile device or not. If you live in a cabin in the woods without electricity, you'd still have to pay.Advertisement