House Bans New Cell Taxes for 5 Years
The House of Representatives has approved a measure that prevents state and local governments from adding any new taxes to cell phones bills for a period of five years. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, sponsor of the legislation, said, "We need to encourage the development and adoption of wireless broadband, not tax it out of existence." Lofgren pointed out that the rate at which wireless services are taxed often exceeds the taxes levied on goods such as alcohol and tobacco. The tax rate on wireless services varies, but the legislation cited the 26.8% tax rate in Baltimore, the 20.4% tax rate in New York City, and the 19.9% tax rate in Omaha, Neb., as extreme examples of how out of control wireless taxes are. In response, the CTIA Wireless Association said, "On behalf of the 300 million wireless customers in the U.S., CTIA applauds the Wireless Tax Fairness Act's lead sponsors. Today's vote is a crucial step toward providing wireless subscribers with some much needed relief by putting a five-year freeze on new, discriminatory taxes and fees on their monthly bills. In light of the challenging economy, we hope the U.S. Senate moves swiftly to pass the companion bill." Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon and Olympia Snowe of Maine have introduced similar legislation in the Senate.
School Internet Plan Would Raise Phone Taxes 17.2%
The FCC will propose to increase spending on school internet services, and the money will come from a surge in taxes on wired and wireless telephone bills. Under the FCC's proposal, which is not yet public, it will increase the annual cap on school internet spending from $2.4 billion to $3.9 billion.
T-Mobile Promo to Refund Smartphone Sales Tax
T-Mobile today said it will refund the sales tax of smartphone purchases. The limited promotion is available for new devices purchased on a T-Mobile equipment installment plan and associated with either a T-Mobile One or Simple Choice Unlimited 4G LTE service plan.
Sprint to Face $300M Tax Fraud Charge In Court
Sprint lost its bid to have a $300 million lawsuit dismissed and will now face the State of New York in court. The office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman alleges that Sprint failed to collect about $100 million in taxes from its New York-based customers over a period of seven years.
Congress Gives Unlocking Bill Another Shot
Lawmakers on Monday agreed to a revised bill to make it legal for people to unlock their cell phones. Senator Patrick Leahy and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley introduced the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act last year in order to restore consumers' ability to unlock their phones.
CTIA to Fight Berkeley Cell Phone Radiation Law
The CTIA has filed a lawsuit in the hopes of overturning a Berkeley, Calif., regulation that will require sellers of cell phones to post warnings about radiation risks. The law, approved in Berkeley last month, will force retailers to post signs warning consumers of the dangers posed by cell phone wireless signals.
While I agree.....
no ban on federal taxes?
How about a cap?