An European country Slovenia (That small thing east of Italy) has a law that basically forces each household to pay additional tax each month for national radio-and-tv station. The amount is fixed to nearly 15€ per month regardless of household financial position.

This is not about companies or public-like places such as pubs. By law a person or a family needs to pay this monthly fee regardless of actual usage of this service. A person or family may opt out of this by ensuring that they have no way of connecting to the national radio or television. So already owning a car or even a phone with internet capabilities is out of question.

Is this common/normal? Does every (or most) country have such a law? This kind of law to me seems very dangerous and scary. In a way I feel like every year a new such law could be created and suddenly after 10 laws you pay 150€ per month additional tax regardless of your financial status and/or usage of services you are charged with extra.

Just for more info (though I feel a bit weak with my English at this point): The law basically states that the institute for national radio and television may gather data from those paying for electricity. They are to use this list to demand payment. So basically each household needs to pay once per month. And to opt out there should be no technically possible solution to connect to radio or television at all.

  • 3
    I’m voting to close this question because it's a very broad question about the rationale behind or opinion about a law and belongs on politics.stackexchange.com Commented Jul 7, 2020 at 14:10
  • What do you mean by "normal"?
    – user6726
    Commented Jul 7, 2020 at 14:13
  • 2
    The same law exists in sweden, at first only the ones who had a TV at home had to pay the fee yearly. Now it's included in the taxes, so everybody pays for it now.
    – Kilise
    Commented Jul 7, 2020 at 14:19
  • @user6726 Normal as generally accepted and there are laws similar to this. Where abnormal would be for instance forbidden by constitutional laws in most western countries. Or in conflict with some international agreements. Perhaps even a sign of some oppression and against democracy. Commented Jul 7, 2020 at 14:26
  • 1
    It's accepted everywhere there are such laws and people are not in open revolt. If you're asking about numbers of countries with vs. without such law – an actual count, then that is a meaningful and answerable question (though one that would take work to answer). I'll say it's not normal and we don't accept it because we don't have such a law in the US. I suppose people from the UK think it is normal: we have a difference of opinion. We don't condone opinion answers, and individual anecdotes ("Not in the US!", "Yes in the UK!") are useless for answering the "common" question.
    – user6726
    Commented Jul 7, 2020 at 14:38

3 Answers 3


Given that there are almost 200 countries on Earth and most people don't have any information about Lesotho (etc) it is impossible to say what the frequency of such taxes is. There are also many ways in which media-taxes are imposed, so it depends on which sub-class of taxes you're interested in. However, such taxes are by no means rare. Many countries impose a license requirement on televisions and / or radio: Albania, Austria, Bosnia, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Montenegro, South Korea, South Africa, UK and so on. It is also indirectly collected as a fee on electric bills in Greece, Italy, Portugal, Serbia, Pakistan, Turkey, Mauritius. In general, when broadcasting is state-supported, the state gets its money from taxes, so the case in Norway and Sweden seems to be that you pay a tax for broadcast, and it's just part of your taxes, just like in the US the local transit tax becomes part of your property tax. Note that I did not list a majority of the countries in the world, because I don't know about taxing and broadcasting in Lesotho (etc.). This page gives some information, but it's not authoritative or exhaustive.


I can't say how normal it is in other countries, but the same thing has been implemented in Sweden since a year back or so.

Before the implementation, only people using a TV/Radio had to pay. This allowed lots of people to cheat. So in Sweden it was very common that people working for the public service used to knock on doors, and ask if there was a TV. They also "listened for TV-sound", if the one opening the door didn't let them in.

Lots of controversy started, since they started to fee people who had internet as well, since the TV/Radio was possible to be accessed in the internet. However I remember there was a legal case where one guy sued them for that and won.

Today the fee is implemented in the taxes (but it is not defined as a tax however). 1% of the income, but maximum up to around 1 300 Swedish kronor (approx 125 euro) per citizen that is 18 or over. However it is reduced for the ones who get less than a certain amount of money.



It isn't uncommon.

New Zealand has such a law, for example, and isn't alone in that respect, although I'm not away of any survey of nations that do have it (some impose a tax on the purchase of a TV or radio, rather than monthly).

Japan, in theory, has the same "public radio" and "public television" concept as the U.S. PBS and NPR networks (in which public stations are funded by a combination of donations from listeners and government and non-profit grants and private sector underwriting), but in practice, contributing is so socially obligatory that it is functionally identical to a tax.

The U.S. has a "universal access charge" that is imposed on people who purchase certain telecommunications services to provide access and the FCC appropriates channels for "public access" public use.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .