Today’s news:

Audiophiles face the music of 4 percent proposed tax on downloads

Gov. David Paterson’s proposed 4 percent tax on downloadable digital music, movies and games has caused Queens shoppers to rethink their holiday wish lists.

After the governor announced the tax last week as part of the state’s new budget plan, music lovers at the Bay Terrace shopping center said they were disturbed.

Erin Lazarus, 25, of Flushing, said she downloads her tunes occasionally from iTunes, which charges 99 cents per song, and thought Paterson could have taxed other goods.

“I’d be really upset if there were a tax because the whole point of iTunes is that it’s cheap,” she said.

Rob Foster, 37, of Whitestone, who has nearly 40 country songs on his iPod, said he might be downloading less if the tax becomes a reality.

“It’s going to make me pick and choose less downloads,” he said.

Theodora Saklabanakis, 27, a teacher from Bayside, said she wasn’t surprised by the proposal since the state is in dire economic times.

“If they can cut the budget for the schools and police, they can do anything,” she said.

—Ivan Pereira

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