Press statement

The Action Center on Race & Economy (ACRE), a national organization that fights for racial and economic justice by exposing and challenging financial institutions and political actors who profit at the expense of people of color, applauds the Maryland Supreme Court’s decision to toss out the case challenging Digital Ad Tax. This decision sends a clear message to the industry that they cannot use their outsized resources to bypass the state’s administrative tax processes.

In an attempt to avoid paying what they owe our communities for profiting from our data, Comcast and Verizon, joined by big tech corporations including Alphabet, Meta, and Amazon challenged the tax in Maryland courts and spent the last year attempting to smear the credibility of our demands in the public arena. Despite these orchestrated attacks, our coalition of advocates for the Digital Ad Tax remains firm in its demand that Big Tech companies pay what they owe.

“It is a relief to see that the Big Tech’s attempt to challenge the Digital Ad Tax in Maryland has been thrown out. In the first three quarters of 2022 alone, the Maryland Comptroller reported collecting $101 million dollars in revenues from the state’s DAT. These are revenues our communities deserve from the data that Big Tech is extracting from us in order to maximize their profits. We can use these revenues to fully fund schools, quality healthcare, and a strong social safety net,” said Gabriela Noa Betancourt, a senior research analyst at ACRE.

ACRE has been working with grassroots organizations and labor unions who have moved their state legislators in Connecticut, Illinois, New York, and Massachusetts to consider their own versions of a Digital Ad Tax, which would fill gaps in the state budget for education, mental health services, and other vital public services.