Comcast v. Telephone Utility Tax in Seattle

Warning: this case was reversed by the Supreme Court of Washington. An update of this case is found in the IBLS article titled: Taxation of Internet Service Providers in Seattle. Comcast is a cable transmission network provider in Seattle. Comcast provides cable television signals over its Seattle cable network, as well as cable networks for high-speed broadband Internet connections to its customers in Seattle. The City of Seattle, after conducting an audit, concluded that Comcast was subject to the telephone utility tax for its revenue from data transmission activities in connection with Internet service. Comcast sued the City of Seattle for a refund of the tax and challenged the legality of Seattle's telephone utility tax under Washington's Internet Tax Moratorium and the federal Internet Tax Freedom Act. The trial court denied the City's motion for summary judgment and granted Comcast's cross-motion for summary judgment. The City of Seattle appealed the trial court’s decision and the trial court’s decision was subsequently reversed by the appellate court.

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