House OKs 5-year Freeze in New Wireless Taxes

By: Jim Abrams, Associated Press
By: Jim Abrams, Associated Press

Washington, D.C. (AP) - The House has approved a five-year freeze on any new state and local taxes targeted at cellphones and other wireless services, including wireless broadband access.

Supporters of the legislation say states increasingly have taxed wireless mobile services as they have become more prevalent, and that most states now impose taxes that far exceed average sales taxes on other items.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, the California Democrat who co-sponsored the bill, says wireless customers now pay 16.3 percent in taxes and fees, more than double the average rates for other goods and services. She says the freeze is needed to encourage the development and adoption of wireless broadband.

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  • by Gerry Location: Tallahassee on Nov 2, 2011 at 12:33 PM
    The bill has passed the House. In order to become law, an identical bill must pass the Senate in this Congress and be signed by the Prez. I have no idea whether an identical bill exists in the Senate. This is the 112th Congress (the 1st Congress met in 1789-1790). A Congress exists for 2 years.
  • by Matt on Nov 2, 2011 at 06:53 AM
    Taxes on wireless communications are a regressive tax. Contrary to what most politicians probably think, cell phones are no longer the status symbol they were in the 1980s, and a _large_ number of households are cell phone only (my wife and I included). Why regressive? The poor spend a greater proportion of their income on cell phone service than others--even with the most basic plan. Thus, any tax that's based on a percentage of the cell phone bill amount (or worse, a fixed amount per month) is going to consume a greater proportion of the income of the poor than of others.
    • reply
      by Steve on Nov 2, 2011 at 09:29 AM in reply to Matt
      Then don't get a wireless and use a home phone....Oh yeah that makes sense.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Nov 2, 2011 at 12:17 PM in reply to Steve
        Wakulla BOCC chose to tax our home phones too. Way to go, Mike Stewart.
  • by wifi on Nov 2, 2011 at 02:05 AM
    So this means Wakulla's 3% communication tax starting Jan 1st is dead?
    • reply
      by Bolillo on Nov 2, 2011 at 06:55 AM in reply to wifi
      For this 1st time in my life I am agreeing with a California democrat. Hell must be freezing over.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Nov 2, 2011 at 12:16 PM in reply to wifi
      I thought it was 10%?
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