Fingers Crossed For Cell Phone Tax Relief

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Have you ever noticed just how much you are paying in cell phone taxes each month? If you haven't waded through the fine print; don't! It will only depress you. According to Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D- California), Americans are getting hit with 15-19% in taxes on their wireless bills and that is compared to about 7% on other taxable goods and services.

Lofgren and Arizona Congressman Trent Franks (R-Arizona) have co-authored a bi-partisan bill called the Cell Phone Fairness Act of 2009 (clearly its been in committee awhile) to put a five year freeze on any new state or local cell phone taxes. It's still got a long way to go before ever becoming law, but today it was passed by a House Judiciary sub-committee. It's a good step and a good excuse to call our representatives and tell them to get on the stick with this one.

A freeze on cell phone taxes sounds good to me. But, I do have some concerns whether this bill is enough.

Here's why:

1. The bill is very carefully worded to make clear that taxes already in place are grandfathered in and no local or state revenues are to be lost as a result if this becomes law. At 15-19% in taxes, shouldn't we be lowering those taxes and not just freezing them for five years?

2. The "I'm just a bill stuck on Capitol hill" bill exempts the Federal government. So your cell phone taxes couild go up anyway.

That being said, it's better than nothing and this one actually has a chance of making it into law. Some 200 reprepesntatives have already endorsed the bill and, again, it's a bi-partisan effort.

Please follow me on Twitter @oricchio

Last updated: Sep 16, 2010




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