House Votes to Bar Tax Hikes on Cell Phone Services
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
House moved Tuesday to block state and local governments from raising taxes on
cell phone services. H.R. 1002, the Wireless Tax Fairness Act, would
prohibit state and local governments from imposing "discriminatory” taxes on
mobile services or companies for five years. It passed by voice vote.
The measure would label as
discriminatory any taxes that are higher than those generally imposed on other
companies or services. It would exempt taxes already in place before enactment
as well as taxes to support enhanced 911 emergency systems and universal
service programs to provide cell service to rural areas.The measure garnered
much bipartisan support, with over 140 Representatives signing on as
According to the findings of the
Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA), the average wireless
consumer is charged more than 16% in taxes and fees while other taxable goods
and services are only 7.4%. Additionally, 47 states along with the District
of Columbia are charging wireless consumers more than other taxable goods and
services. Five states, including Nebraska, Washington, New York, Florida and
Illinois, charge more than 20%.
The Senate has not taken action on the
companion measure, S. 543.