WASHINGTON, March 10, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With wireless consumers now paying on average more than 16% a month in taxes and fees on their cell phone bills, MyWireless.org® today applauded the introduction of bipartisan legislation that gives consumers a five-year break from new, discriminatory state and local wireless taxes and fees. The much-needed consumer relief legislation, entitled the 'Wireless Tax Fairness Act,' was re-introduced today in the U.S. Senate and in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bills were introduced by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and Representatives Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Trent Franks (R-AZ), respectively.
The 'Wireless Tax Fairness Act' calls for a federal moratorium to be placed on all unfair, new state and local wireless taxes and fees for five years. In tough economic times for many Americans, Senators Wyden and Snowe, and Representatives Lofgren and Franks should be commended for taking common sense action on behalf of hundreds of millions of hard-working Americans by seeking to provide much-needed tax relief. MyWireless.org urges the 112th Congress to follow their leadership on this issue.
Brian Johnston, Director of Advocacy for MyWireless.org said, "It's outrageous that American wireless consumers are paying on average more than twice as much in taxes and fees on their wireless bills than they are in general sales tax. Right now 47 states and the District of Columbia levy wireless taxes on consumers that exceed the general sales tax rates they pay. It is blatantly unfair to put a target on the backs of wireless consumers and gouge them just to balance an overspent budget – that's simply not the way wireless consumers should be treated. We should be encouraging their use of such a productive and useful technology that can do so much good for so many Americans, rather than punish them with excessive and discriminatory taxes and fees."
Johnston continued, "Americans now face an annual national tax burden of approximately $21 billion in combined monthly wireless taxes, fees and surcharges, just to communicate on their cell phones! The 'Wireless Tax Fairness Act' is an essential and necessary step toward standing up for wireless consumers and saying enough's enough. If a state needs to raise taxes on its residents, it ought to be done in a fair and equitable manner."
In the past six years, hundreds of thousands of wireless consumers all across the U.S. have helped protect their wireless service from excessive taxes and regulations by contacting their Representatives and Senators – both in Washington and in their states – through the MyWireless.org website. As consumers pay close attention to their monthly bills and set household budgets, they are becoming increasingly aware of the ever-spiraling monthly tax and fee burden paid to every level of government, and they are demanding action to protect how they communicate.
MyWireless.org will continue to mobilize consumers around the country to urge their policymakers in Washington, D.C. to pass the 'Wireless Tax Fairness Act,' introduced by Senators Wyden and Snowe, and Representatives Lofgren and Franks. Members of Congress are urged to follow their lead and co-sponsor this critically important and fair legislation today.
MyWireless.org®, a national nonpartisan non-profit consumer advocacy organization, has joined together in a diverse coalition of American wireless consumers, business interests and taxpayer advocacy groups to support legislation in Congress and in the states to ensure that regulatory policies are kept fair, and that wireless is kept affordable and accessible to all Americans. To learn more about MyWireless.org, please visit www.MyWireless.org today.