November 4, 2011
Washington, DC-Sally Greenberg, Executive Director of the National Consumers League, issued this statement in support of the Wireless Tax Fairness Act HR 1002, which will be voted on by the US House of Representatives this evening.
“The National Consumers League supports HR 1002, the Wireless Tax Fairness Action of 2011, because it will slow the exploding number of taxes imposed on consumers and users of wireless phones and other services. Consumers in 46 states now pay wireless taxes, fees, and government charges that exceed the retail sales tax rate.
For millions of Americans, cell phones have replaced landlines in providing phone services. The millions of consumers who receive a cell phone bill each month- and many of these customers are middle and lower middle income Americans- with taxes imposed that they don’t understand – in some states a gross receipts tax is imposed on top of a sales tax –are paying taxes that add significantly to their overall bill. Unfortunately, without this legislation, there appears to be no end in sight; state and local governments will continue treat consumers who use wireless devices as a “cash cow” for local projects.
The NCL understands that state and local governments need to raise revenues to pay for essential services – fire and ambulance, schools and hospitals, roads and infrastructure -and we support their right to do so through a democratic process, which includes the passage of tax laws that are supported by the citizens. The ever-increasing taxes imposed on consumers who use wireless services are the wrong approach, however, and have reached unacceptable levels. This bill’s moratorium will give state and local governments the opportunity to join with consumers and others in an effort to reform communications taxes, an effort that is long overdue."
About the National Consumers League
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.