WASHINGTON, July 14, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- National wireless consumer coalition MyWireless.org® today applauds the leadership of Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Trent Franks (R-AZ) and Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX), after the House Judiciary Committee unanimously approved H.R. 1002, the overwhelmingly bipartisan "Wireless Tax Fairness Act of 2011." The bill now heads to the House Floor for consideration. A Senate companion bill, S. 543, from original sponsor Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME), also now awaits consideration by the Senate Finance Committee.
This pro-consumer legislation enjoys broad support in the House with 236 co-sponsors, and calls for a 5-year break from all new, discriminatory state and local wireless taxes and fees on the backs of American wireless consumers. On behalf of those consumers, MyWireless.org today expressed thanks to the timely leadership shown by the original sponsors of the bill, and to the committee chairman for holding this important legislative mark-up.
Brian Johnston, director of advocacy for MyWireless.org, said, "Here is one shining example of pro-taxpayer bipartisan compromise across the aisle. The "Wireless Tax Fairness Act" represents a positive illustration of Members and leadership from both parties coming together in great numbers to support a little bit of immediate pocketbook relief for hundreds of millions of American consumers. Our consumers clearly want to prevent spiraling taxes and fees on wireless, and now Congress is taking action to help," said Johnston. "We thank Representatives Lofgren and Franks, Chairman Smith and the Members of the House Judiciary Committee, and all of the bill's co-sponsors for defending wireless users across this country from more unfair, new state and local wireless taxation. We look forward to working with Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to move this popular bill for a vote on the House Floor soon."
In these tough and uncertain economic times of recovery, MyWireless.org calls on Congress to give American wireless users a break from excessive taxes on communicating by supporting this simple measure of relief. On average, the American wireless consumer now pays more than 16% on every monthly bill in combined government taxes, fees and surcharges – more than double the average sales tax paid on other general goods and services. In fact, 47 states and the District of Columbia charge combined monthly wireless tax rates in excess of their sales tax rate. Because discriminatory, new state and local taxes and fees on wireless services are typically regressive – and significantly increase consumers' cost of service – the burden often falls especially hard on fixed-income users such as seniors, working families and small businesses.
Recent MyWireless.org national polling revealed 67% of consumers support a 5-year freeze from Congress on all new state and local wireless taxes and fees, while 85% said wireless should be taxed at the same, or lower, rate as other general goods and services.
MyWireless.org® is a national nonpartisan non-profit advocacy organization, made up of wireless consumers, businesses and community leaders from around the country, supporting reasonable pro-consumer and pro-taxpayer wireless policies.