Wednesday, March 9, 2011

U.S. Congress: Proposed Wireless Tax Fairness Act of 2011

A new "Wireless Tax Fairness Act of 2011" has been introduced in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives and co-sponsored by over 140 Representatives and Senators.

The proposed bill provides for a 5-year moratorium on any new discriminatory wireless tax or fee. It does not take away any existing revenue from state or local governments, it simply caps the current taxes and fees.

"Wireless Tax Fairness Act, is about expanding access and innovation in our nation's wireless broadband market," noted Rep. Zoe Lofgren, who represents much of Santa Clara County, California. "By freezing wireless taxes and fees, we hope to spur additional consumer driven development in wireless broadband and to increase access to advanced wireless networks. This legislation is about stabilizing the wireless and giving consumers the opportunity to choose services based on the merits and not on the changing rate of taxation."

"In light of today's challenging economic conditions, it is hard to understand why the average wireless consumer is being charged more than 16 percent in taxes and fees when other taxable goods and services are only 7.4 percent. When you add the fact that policymakers are looking for ways to make affordable broadband accessible for all Americans, it's incomprehensible why 47 states and the District of Columbia charge their wireless consumers a rate that exceeds the general rates for other taxable goods and services," stated CTIA-The Wireless Association President and CEO Steve Largent.