MyWireless.org Communications and Policy Update
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Communications and Policy Update
I can’t believe it’s already November. Time flies when you’re incredibly busy!
All of DC and the policy/political world will be glued to screens tomorrow watching the returns come in which will have big implications on next Wednesday, which is what we’re focused on: Lame duck.
There’s a lot for Congress to work on in a very short amount of time when they return. Our biggest priority, as it has been for most of the year, is the Internet Tax Freedom Act and what the Hill will be doing to address the moratorium, which was temporarily extended through December 11th. There are a lot of guesses as to how things will pan out in this Congress for ITFA. Regardless of those assumptions one thing is true: All voices are needed to highlight the issue and the need for a permanent moratorium – particularly right as Congress returns next week.
As with the recess period, we have a great opportunity for collective grassroots/media commentary, engagement and outreach. The recent report Wireless Taxation in the United States 2014 by Tax Foundation and Scott Mackey and the American Action Forum paper, The Cost of an Internet Access Tax, exploring the cost of an expired Internet tax moratorium, are great resources to point to in this debate.
The reports have received extensive media coverage and help to highlight the disproportionally high and regressive wireless taxes and fees across the country, and the need for tax reforms - not on just wireless service, but Internet access as well to avoid a future of even higher taxes. It is important to get these reports into the hands of state/local organizations that might not be aware of the findings and/or could use the report to develop their own commentary on the issues.
Also good to point to for the ITFA effort is the recently released National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) report Digital Nation Report Shows Rapid Adoption of Mobile Internet Use which unsurprisingly found that Americans are rapidly embracing mobile Internet devices such as smart phones and tablet computers for a wide range of activities beyond just voice communications.
Coalition and media highlights:
Wireless Tax Rankings Report highlights:
· American Consumer Institute (RealClearPolicy): A Two-Prong Tax Attack on Wireless Services
· Bloomberg: New Yorkers’ Wireless Bills Among Most Tax-Heavy in U.S.
· CBS News MoneyWatch: How hidden taxes slam cell phone users
· Chicago Sun-Times Politics: Interactive: How Illinois' wireless tax compares
· CNN Money: Up to 35% of your cell phone bill may be taxes and fees
· CTIA – The Wireless Association: Americans Continue to Be Taxed More for Wireless than Other Taxable Goods and Services
· FierceWireless: Report: Washington state, Nebraska and New York impose highest tax rates on wireless service
· Free State Foundation: The Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act Should Be Adopted
· FOX Baltimore: Waste Watch: Wireless Taxes
· FOX Business: Economist Scott Drenkard Discusses Cell Phone Taxes and Fees
· Heartland Institute: Wireless Taxes Growing Out of Control
· Human Events: ‘Excessive’ wireless taxes hurt poor families
· Illinois Policy Institute: Chicago cellphone taxes highest in nation
· Independent Women’s Forum: Wireless Usage Is No Sin
· John Locke Foundation: Cell Phone Taxes, NC is ranked 33rd
· MarketWatch: States with the highest (and lowest) cellphone tax
· Motley Fool: The 5 States With the Highest Cell Phone Bills
· National Center for Policy Analysis: How Much Do Americans Pay in Cell Phone Taxes?
· National Taxpayers Union: We’re Paying 17 Percent in Cell Phone Taxes?!
· NBC Chicago: Illinois' Cell Phone Tax Among Highest in Nation
· Politic365: Rising Wireless Taxes Could Jeopardize Mobile Use
· Tax Foundation: How High Are Cell Phone Taxes In Your State?
· Wall Street Journal: 64 Days to a Tax Increase
· Washington Policy Center: Washington State's Wireless Taxes are the Highest in the Nation
· Infographic: 2014 Hispanic Consumer Survey Results – Hispanics lead the way in wireless
· New Study Highlights Excessive Rate of Wireless Taxation