German court rejects challenges to public broadcasting fee

A German federal court has ruled that a levy charged to every household to finance public broadcasters, regardless of whether it has a radio or television, is constitutional.

The current system under which households pay a monthly levy of 17.50 euros ($19.72) was introduced in 2013. It replaced a previous system under which people had to pay depending on whether they had receivers.

The Federal Administrative Court on Friday dismissed 18 appeals against lower-court rulings that upheld the system.

Many of the plaintiffs argued that they had no radio or television. However, the court said that "because of technical developments" it's no longer possible today to reliably establish with a reasonable amount of effort that someone doesn't have a device that can receive broadcasting.