WASHINGTON, Nov. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today the bipartisan and pro-consumer advocacy group, MyWireless.org, announced they awarded Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon with the 2012 Wireless Consumer Hero Award for his commitment to wireless tax relief for American consumers and businesses.
Senator Wyden is one of the original sponsors of the bipartisan 'Wireless Tax Fairness Act' (S. 543) and is working with his colleagues in the Senate to pass this legislation on behalf of American wireless consumers. Wyden clearly understands the need for Americans to have access to wireless networks to stay connected to friends, family, public safety and business contacts.
"It is difficult for innovative technologies to reach their full potential if they are buried under excessive taxes," Wyden said. "That is why the Wireless Tax Fairness Act is so important. We shielded the Internet from taxation and, now that wireless products are increasingly the gateway toward the Internet, we must shield wireless services from multiple and discriminatory taxes. I want to thank MyWireless.org for aiding in efforts to pass this bill and for this award."
Wireless devices have become an easy target for new taxes as cash-strapped state and local governments look for new sources of income. According to a recent study, the average wireless consumer pays more than 17% in combined monthly federal, state and local wireless taxes and fees. That's nearly two-and-a-half times the average sales tax rate for other goods and services.
"This legislation is a great example of lawmakers working together to address increasingly unfair efforts by state and local governments to balance their books on the backs of wireless consumers," said Steve Largent, President and CEO of CTIA – The Wireless Association®. "We sincerely thank Senator Wyden for his work defending wireless users across the nation from more new and unfair state and local wireless taxes and fees."
The Wireless Tax Fairness Act would prohibit state and local governments from adding any new taxes and fees on a specific communications service, such as wireless, for five years. This five-year freeze would give wireless consumers a much-needed break from even higher taxes and fees, and a window to develop a tax and fee structure that is fair and sensible. The U.S. House of Representatives already unanimously passed its companion bill last year.
MyWireless.org® is a nonpartisan, non-profit national advocacy organization made up of U.S. wireless consumers, businesses and community leaders and supports reasonable, pro-consumer and pro-taxpayer wireless policies. MyWireless.org is a project of CTIA-The Wireless Association®. For more information, visit www.mywireless.org.