March 17, 2009
Washington, D.C. - Today, Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Trent Franks (R-AZ) introduced the bi-partisan, pro-consumer "Cell Tax Fairness Act," which provides for a 5-year moratorium on any new discriminatory wireless tax or fee. A typical consumer already pays 15.2% in federal, state, and local taxes on their cell phone bill as compared to 7.1% for most other taxable goods and services. Between January 2003 and July 2007, the effective rate of taxation on wireless service increased four times faster than the rate for other taxable goods and services. The bill does not disturb current state and local taxes on wireless service.
"The Cell Tax Fairness Act, H.R. 1521, will help further innovation
and access in the wireless world," noted Lofgren. "By curtailing
further increases on wireless taxes and fees, we hope to encourage
additional consumer driven development in wireless technology. The Cell
Tax Fairness Act does not take away any existing revenue for state or
local governments, it simply calls for a period of tax stabilization.
This legislation will ensure that consumers make choices about
communications technology based on the merits of that technology,
rather than on the rate of taxation."
"During the economic strain of a recession, raising taxes on hard-working American families is the last thing that will bring stability and growth back to our economy." Franks stated. "Due to the exorbitant rate at which cell phone taxes have been rising these past several years, current cell phone customers are already paying two to three times the amount of taxes that they pay on almost all other goods and services, for a product that is becoming increasingly important in technological innovation, including the growing trend among educators toward using wireless devices as educational tools. Thus, the bipartisan Cell Tax Fairness Act will place a 5-year moratorium on any new discriminatory wireless tax or fee, and will help to ensure that excessive taxation does not stifle production, consumption, or continued innovation in wireless services."