California Commission Proposes Plan to Tax Text Messages

Washington Free Beacon | 12/13/2018 | Cameron Cawthorne
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BY: Cameron Cawthorne

A California commission is proposing a monthly tax on cell phone bills, specifically text-message services, to increase state funds for programs that help bring connectivity to low-income residents and the deaf.

California - Public - Utilities - Commission - CPUC

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has received backlash from the CTIA trade association, which represents AT&T Mobility, Sprint, and T-Mobile, in response to the commission's tax proposal. The surcharge proposal would levy a monthly tax based on any fees for text-message services versus a per-text tax.

Most cell phone carriers offer a flat fee for text messaging services, so the CPUC charge structure will vary based on the carrier, according to CNN.

CTIA - Proposal - Filing - Proposal - Law

The CTIA pushed back on the proposal in a legal filing, which argues the proposal may contradict federal law and would be harmful to consumers.

"Subjecting wireless carriers' text messaging traffic to surcharges that cannot be applied to the lion's share of messaging traffic and messaging providers is illogical, anticompetitive, and harmful to consumers," the CTIA said in its filing.

Commission - CPUC - Commissioner - Carla - J

The commission will vote on CPUC commissioner Carla J. Peterman's 52-page proposal on Jan. 10, 2019. In the proposal, Peterman says the state's Public Purpose Program budget is increasing, but the incoming fees...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Washington Free Beacon
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