Bayer wants to overturn new gez fee in court

Bayer wants to overturn new GEZ fee in court

A bavarian wants to overturn the new financing model of ARD and ZDF. Ermano geuer, a lawyer from passau, wants to stop the new regulation in the state broadcasting contribution treaty with a popular complaint before the bavarian constitutional court in munich. According to the report, from 1. January 2013 all households and businesses pay a levy, regardless of whether they even own televisions, radios or internet-enabled computers and smartphones. This is to replace the previously device-based fee. The plaintiff, who is a research assistant at the chair of public law at the university of passau, argues that this violates the principle of equality in the constitution, and that it is an objectively unjustified lump-sum payment.

Until the 15. The parties to the proceedings, namely the bavarian state parliament, the state government and the bavarian broadcasting corporation, which is financed primarily by fees, will be able to submit their comments to the constitutional court on october 1. "It will have to wait for the comments on the proceedings", said a spokeswoman for the court. Then also the plaintiff can express himself again. Experts do not expect a decision in the case before 2013. (az.: vf. 8-VII-12)

unfounded complaint?

In july, the state parliament had classified the lawsuit as unfounded in a first opinion. Simplification of broadcasting fees has been demanded from many sides, no constitutional violations are seen. BR said it, too, considered the lawsuit to be without merit. "From BR’s point of view, the procedure helps to clarify fundamental questions about the reform of broadcasting financing and to create legal certainty."

Geuer argues that especially for small businesses with many operating sites or for companies with large fleets, the fees increased extremely, because for each operating site and for each vehicle must be paid. The principle of the rule of law had been violated because the broadcasting fees had thus mutated into a tax: "monetary benefits that are imposed on the general public without the latter receiving a concrete service in return.". However, the federal states would not have the authority to enact such a tax. There are also shortcomings in data protection. The fee collection center in cologne was to be provided with all registration data of all municipalities. "This will result in a second and even central registry of residents – that’s exactly what they didn’t want, so the registries are kept separate by municipality", says geuer.

The interstate treaty on broadcasting fees was passed by the state parliaments last year after the state premiers had signed it. The popular complaint is a special bavarian form of complaint. Any citizen can submit them without being affected by the issue in question. If geuer were to be proven right, this would possibly force the free state to push for a new regulation nationwide.

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