April 15 is just a couple weeks away, so taxes are on the minds of many Americans these days. One can debate the merits of tax reform or various tax levels, but there should be wide agreement that something should be done to address the exorbitant tax rates many of us are paying on our wireless service. The average American pays a little more than 17 percent in combined federal, state and local government taxes and fees each month on their bill. That’s nearly two-and-a-half times as much as the average general sales tax rate, and when you think about the importance and utility that your wireless service is providing you and hundreds of millions others from all walks of American life, it’s clear something’s way out of whack.
Learn more about unfair wireless taxes
This is a disturbing trend. Over the past decade, wireless taxes increased at a rate that is four times faster than the rate on other taxable goods and services. And, because wireless taxes are often regressive, minority communities, seniors, small businesses, students and working families are often hit the hardest.
The extreme rate of wireless taxes has the attention of Capitol Hill. The House of Representatives unanimously passed the bipartisan ‘Wireless Tax Fairness Act’ in the 112th Congress. It proposed a five year freeze on any new, discriminatory state and local wireless taxes. Unfortunately, the Senate failed to act on the companion bill before the end of the session last year. The good news for consumers is the ‘Wireless Tax Fairness Act’ will soon be reintroduced into the 113th Congress with a strong foundation of returning bipartisan House and Senate cosponsors.
The wireless industry thinks this legislation makes a lot of sense for our customers. The freeze would give consumers a much-needed break from even higher taxes and fees, and provide state and local governments a window to put together a tax and fee structure that is fair and sensible. The wireless industry is committed to working with the dedicated lead sponsors of this bill to see the ‘Wireless Tax Fairness Act’ enacted in this Congress, and if you want to learn more about the issue, I encourage you to visit www.MyWireless.org/taxes.
High Wireless Tax Scoop
Learn about the unfair and regressive state of wireless taxes in this segment produced by MyWireless.org, a wireless consumer advocacy group supported by CTIA.
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