Monday, October 16, 2006

Ah, la redevance audiovisuelle

Which is just a fancy name for television tax.

You know those PBS (Public Broadcasting System [public tv] for those of you residing outside the U.S.) fundraiser drive things? Well, the have something kind of like that here, but not really. We give 116€ a year to public television, although no one politely asks us if we want to, we just get the bill.

It came in the mail today, on a pretty pink and green and white form. It tells us that the money will be given to the public television channels, France 2, France 3, and la 5. Every household owning a television pays the same thing, regardless of the number of televisions you have. We only have one anyway, so it wouldn't make a difference. We didn't pay it for the first few years we lived together - in-laws gave us one of their televisions so we weren't on the tv tax collector person's master list. But they get you, one way or another. When we bought a vcr for our hand-me-down tv, they got us. When you buy any television accessories, the sale is recorded and your information is transmitted to the AV people.

No one seems to think much about it here, it's been like this for so long. I tend to kick up the dust every year when we get the bill. I do watch channel 2 occasionally, but they have commercials in between programs, which, to me, means it's a lot more private than public. But what do I know? I'm sure if I didn't get billed for it, I wouldn't give 116€ and then where would public television be? I'd answer that, but it would sound bitter.


christi said...

what a random number. not $100, not $120, but $116. how do they arrive at that?

beth said...

Glad to hear that you are "kicking up the dust". I wish we only had one tv in our house - but then what would husband do when his investment/political shows or sporting games are on TV and my oldest girl wants to watch Elmo? Oh, I could only imagine the drama (and I'm not talking about the drama from my oldest girl).

Lorraine said...

Dang, I'll bet our PBS/NPR people wish they could get in on that sort of action.

zeb said...

I would be pissed if we had to pay a public tv bill. If you saw my cable bill you would understand.

charlie said...

The BBC is funded by licence fees in the UK. Other TV programme providers are funded by the asinine adverts they carry. All owners of TV sets must have a licence which cost well over £100 per year (I don't know the exact amount). This has been the case forever. I don't watch much TV.