Representative J.D. Prescott (R) introduced Indiana HB 1517, which would impose a surcharge tax on social media providers. HB 1517 is similar to legislation introduced by Representative Prescott during the 2021 and 2022 legislative sessions that did not make it out of committee.
Specifically, HB 1517 would impose a surcharge tax on social media providers equal to: (1) the annual gross revenue derived from social media advertising services in Indiana in a calendar year multiplied by seven percent; plus (2) the total number of the social media provider’s active Indiana account holders in a calendar year multiplied by $1.
A “social media provider” is defined as a social media company that: (1) maintains a public social media platform; (2) has more than one million active Indiana account holders; (3) has annual gross revenue derived from social media advertising services in Indiana of at least one million dollars; and (4) derives economic benefit from the data individuals in Indiana share with the company. The bill defines a “social media platform” to mean an internet website or internet medium that: (1) allows account holders to create, share, and view user generated content through an account or profile; and (2) primarily serves as a medium for users to interact with content generated by other third party users of the medium.
“Social media advertising services” means advertising services that are placed or served on a social media platform. The term includes advertisements in the form of banner advertising, promoted content, interstitial advertising, and other comparable advertising services.
The bill contains an apportionment provision, which provides that the apportionment of annual gross revenue derived from social media advertising services in Indiana shall be determined using an allocation fraction, the numerator of which is the annual gross revenue derived from social media advertising in Indiana, and the denominator of which is the annual gross revenue derived from social media advertising in the United States, during the calendar year.
The bill would be effective January 1, 2024. According to the bill’s fiscal note, the surcharge is expected to raise between $64.6 million and $88.3 million in FY 2024 and between $118.5 million and $173.9 million in FY 2025. The revenue would be distributed to an online bulling, social isolation, and suicide prevention fund.