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posted: 1/27/2010 12:01 AM

DirecTV, Dish sue Mass. over satellite TV tax

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Satellite TV operators DirecTV and Dish Network are teaming up to sue Massachusetts for imposing a 5 percent tax on satellite services.

The two companies filed the lawsuit on Tuesday at a Massachusetts state court. They call the tax "discriminatory" because it applies to them and not rival cable TV operators.

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They say some customers will balk at paying the tax and jump to cable TV. Massachusetts approved the tax last June.

Cable TV operators pay franchise fees to municipalities because they need access to public property to lay cable lines.

DirecTV Inc. and Dish Network Corp. say they shouldn't pay a tax because they don't "tear up roads," as their programming is beamed directly from satellites.

They have similar lawsuits pending in Florida, Ohio and Tennessee.

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