Saturday, March 12, 2011

Legislation Seeking 5-Year Wireless Tax Relief for Consumers

With wireless consumers now paying on average more than 16% a month in taxes and fees on their cell phone bills,®, a national nonpartisan non-profit consumer advocacy organization, applauds the introduction of bipartisan legislation that gives consumers a five-year break from new, discriminatory state and local wireless taxes and fees. The much-needed consumer relief legislation, entitled the 'Wireless Tax Fairness Act,' was re-introduced Thursday in the U.S. Senate and in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Brian Johnston, Director of Advocacy for said, "It's outrageous that American wireless consumers are paying on average more than twice as much in taxes and fees on their wireless bills than they are in general sales tax. Right now 47 states and the District of Columbia levy wireless taxes on consumers that exceed the general sales tax rates they pay. It is blatantly unfair to put a target on the backs of wireless consumers and gouge them just to balance an overspent budget – that's simply not the way wireless consumers should be treated. We should be encouraging their use of such a productive and useful technology that can do so much good for so many Americans, rather than punish them with excessive and discriminatory taxes and fees."

The 'Wireless Tax Fairness Act' calls for a federal moratorium to be placed on all unfair, new state and local wireless taxes and fees for five years. In tough economic times for many Americans, Senators Wyden and Snowe, and Representatives Lofgren and Franks should be commended for taking common sense action on behalf of hundreds of millions of hard-working Americans by seeking to provide much-needed tax relief.

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