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Kittitas County Satellite TV Users Seeing Outdated Law Updated

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Rep. Matt Manweller has drafted a bill that would allow, but not require, the Kittitas County TV Reception Improvement District to provide an excise tax exemption to television owners receiving satellite television service. Currently there is a $30 per-household tax on over-the-air television in Kittitas County. The 13th District lawmaker introduced the bill to address an outdated law and still provide local control to the television reception district.

“This is a case of the law catching up with technology,” said Manweller, R-Ellensburg. “This bill provides a simple technical fix for an obscure television reception district that was in place before we had satellite television.”

The TV reception district retransmits television signals into areas unreachable by repeater equipment. The $30 fee applies to television users in the area except for residents with cable or those who cannot receive over-the-air transmission where they reside. Satellite television users are not exempt from the tax even though they do not use the over-the-air transmission service.

“The bill authorizes the district to consider a satellite television exemption, but does not mandate it,” said Manweller. “I believe in local control and this will still keep the authority local. I believe this is a simple fix and I do not expect a partisan fight on a bill to address the exemptions of an outdated, special purpose district.”

The first day of the 2013 legislative session is Monday, Jan. 14, and is scheduled to run 105 days.

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