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Germany had this for some years. The fee is almost the same as in Sweden. I feel ripped off by this, its a remainder of a time when TV-Broadcasting was still so expensive that only public founded institutions could provide it. These ages are long gone. Until beginning of this year it was actually relatively easy to avoid paying it. You just did never answer one of their letters and took care who you opened the door. Now its tax-like for every household. What disgusts me most there is almost no control over the budgets they just collect whatever they want. The politicians that are assigned to the advisory board do nothing, cause they fear bad publicity by the channels (and also want to secure some well paying jobs for friends).

We also have it hear in Denmark. It's called Ā»medielicensĀ« and technically not a tax, but a licence fee (BBC subscribers will understand). It is also required even if you do not use any of DR's services (DR being 'Danish Broadcasting'), but own any form of media device. Most people I know do not pay it, however.

To clarify (dane here):

Everybody with an internet connection of any sort with a bandwith of at least 256kbps must pay the fee. The argument is that they can access dr.dk (danish public service television channel), and the content they provide for no additional fee. Obviously owning a TV will cause the fee as well.

It is a fact that almost all danish households must pay the fee, which especially hurts low-income households, such as those of students; the fee is the same no matter the household composition.

There is no good practical reason for not financing danish public service by increasing income tax ever so slightly.

Wait what? How do you not pay it? Just throw out the bills they send you?

"Oh why hello, thanks for calling, no, sorry, I do not own a TV, computer or tablet - I often spend time at my friends home and uses his computer and TV."

This is how people avoid it in Sweden. However, the stores are obliged to report in when you purchase a TV, but all of these things can be avoided by simple lies ("I gave the TV to my friend for his birthday"), and many do so.

Since they are not the government, they cannot legally gain entrance to your property (actually, neither can the government without a warrant, but they cannot get a warrant either). They send you a letter, asking you to sign up to pay the media licence or sign a declaration that you own no such devices.

The declaration - however - is legally binding and there are huge fines for breaking such a declaration. However, they must be able to prove that you do actually have such devices, by entering your property. In most cases, they don't really bother, though.

Seems like this could get me in trouble. Also I don't remember signing any document I just started receiving the bills. I live in a dormitory so maybe that somehow affects the issue.

Personally, what angers me most about our system in Germany is that we have to pay the GEZ public television fee for internet devices, but only selected content is available for streaming online. When I want to watch an old Tatort, I still have to shell out 20 EUR for a DVD box.

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