(Americans for Tax Reform) – July 13, 2011
U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary
RE: Support H.R. 1002/S. 543, Freezing State and Local Wireless Taxation
Dear Member of Congress:
We the undersigned groups – representing millions of Americans – urge you to support the Wireless Tax Fairness Act (H.R. 1002/S. 543) to put a five-year freeze on attempts by state and local governments to raise taxes on wireless services. Not only are wireless taxes already excessively high and discriminatory, but they also significantly restrain the growth and expansion of broadband.
Across the country, state and local governments are putting a substantial burden on consumers by raising discriminatory taxes on wireless services to fund special interest projects and cover up overspending addictions. Today, the average consumer pays upwards of 16 percent in taxes on their wireless bill every month. In some localities, wireless taxes have skyrocketed to well over 25 percent.
A federal solution to curbing wireless taxation has become imperative. The mandatory freeze on wireless taxes under H.R. 1002/S. 543 is a pro-consumer, probusiness, anti-tax, and bipartisan solution to this growing problem.
Nationally, these taxes on wireless cost consumers over $21 billion annually, making it more expensive to run a business and more difficult to maintain a household budget. Almost 90% of Americans rely on cell phones and a growing majority utilizes mobile broadband. Yet, all but three states tax wireless higher than they do the sale of general goods or services, and some states tax wireless despite having no sales tax on other goods or services. Taxes targeting wireless service make it significantly less affordable and inhibit universal adoption, especially for low-income families, small business owners, rural Americans, and seniors.
We urge you to support and co-sponsor H.R. 1002/S. 543 to freeze discriminatory increases in state and local wireless taxes. Wireless today doesn’t recognize city and state borders, and the wireless consumer shouldn’t have to either.
Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform
Andrew Moylan, Vice President of Government Affairs National Taxpayers Union
Tom Schatz, President, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
Phil Kerpen, Vice President for Policy. Americans for Prosperity
Chuck Muth, President, Citizen Outreach
Kelly William Cobb, Executive Director, Digital Liberty
Carl Gipson, Director, Small Business, Technology and Telecommunications, Washington Policy Center
Jeffrey Mazzella, President, Center for Individual Freedom
Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council
Dino Teppara, Chairman, Indian American Conservative Council
Hance Haney, Senior Fellow, Discovery Institute
Ryan Radia, Associate Director of Technology Studies, Competitive Enterprise Institute
Seton Motley, President, Less Government
John Stephenson, Director, Telecommunications and Information Technology Task Force, American Legislative Exchange Council
Jonathan Williams, Director, Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force, American Legislative Exchange Council
Jim Martin, Chairman, 60 Plus Association
Mario H. Lopez, President, Hispanic Leadership Fund
Dr. William Greene, President, RightMarch.com
George Landrith, President, Frontiers of Freedom
Sam Slom, President, Smart Business Hawaii
Chip Faulkner, Executive Director, Citizens for Limited Taxation