Remember Mauricio Macri, mayor of The City of Buenos Aires, 2015 presidential hopeful and leader of the PRO (Propuesta Republicana) political alliance – think anti-Kicillof/CFK economic policies? Well Mr. Macri stayed home from work today. And what a day it has been. This morning, Mr. Macri told Radio La Red how he only learned via the morning newspapers that the Buenos Aires City Government Administration of Public Revenue (AGIP – not AFIP) decided to begin taxing users of foreign internet media companies such as Spotify and Netflix for their subscriptions.
If enacted in November as planned, consumers of foreign online music, movies, and/or gaming services will pay an extra three percent subscription fee (or the company would), in order to, “equate for foreign businesses the competitiveness of local businesses,” AGIP sources told Infobae. Macri conceded that he understood the logic of the tax on the grounds that it forces foreign companies to face the same regulatory conditions as local companies. However, he suggested that companies like Netflix would shoulder the cost burden and not pass it on to consumers in the form of higher subscription fees. Macri defended himself by claiming that if he had known about it he would have “questioned” the new measure.
Naturally, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner used this opportunity to lambast Macri and his “Netflix Tax”. She even went as far as to recommend a favorite series, “The Killing”. Cristina asked Macri to reconsider the tax.
Was this a setup to paint Macri in a bad light? Possibly, or maybe Cristina just couldn’t resist the opportunity to promote her favorite new series. We all remember when her love of Twitter met Game of Thrones.