National Consumer Advocacy Coalition Furthers Grassroots Opposition to New Tax Hike on Wireless Service in Louisiana
BATON ROUGE, La., June 6 -- MyWireless.org, a national consumer advocacy organization, today reiterated its strong opposition to legislation proposed by the Louisiana legislature to add a 2 percent “excise tax” that could cost wireless consumers $30 million a year.
Louisiana Representative Cedric Richmond is sponsoring House Bill 688, which could cause wireless consumers’ bills to skyrocket. His proposal for a new tax hike on wireless services is in addition to the sales taxes already being collected by the state. The money raised from taxing wireless consumers would be used to reduce the fees paid by traditional phone companies to put their equipment on public property. Even worse, this tax hike would fall hardest on working families, seniors and small businesses on fixed budgets.
“Louisianans already pay nearly 10% of their wireless phone bills in taxes. If HB 688 and two other tax proposals on wireless in Louisiana become law, that figure could nearly double. That would put Louisiana consumers in an unpleasant spot at the top of the list of most heavily-taxed states for wireless services in the country,” said Kimberly Kuo, executive director of MyWireless.org.
MyWireless.org is educating and mobilizing Louisiana consumers through a wide range of media and grassroots efforts, including print advertising, and direct email, mail and phone communications.
The bill, which might see a full House vote any day, would establish a new governmental entity charged with collecting this new tax on wireless and redistributing the funds to local governments. It would also prohibit local governing authorities from determining their own tax structure for this market.
The wireless tax hikes included in House Bill 688 come on the heels of a State Revenue Estimating Conference finding of nearly $170 million in additional General Fund revenue available for next year. HB 688 unnecessarily places an excessive tax burden on working families, seniors and small businesses- at a time when state lawmakers are busy counting hundreds of millions of dollars in newly-found revenues.
Consumers are encouraged to visit http://www.MyWireless.org -- a dynamic, interactive Web site that allows wireless users to learn more about state wireless issues like Louisiana’s proposed wireless tax hikes, to voice their support or opposition to proposed wireless taxes and regulations by directly contacting policymakers, to read about the latest wireless developments, and to help promote the innovation, affordability, and accessibility of wireless services.
MyWireless.org is a non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to giving wireless consumers a clear and powerful voice to protect the freedom, value, security and mobility they enjoy with wireless services.
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