National wireless consumer advocacy coalition MyWireless.org praised the bipartisan and pro-consumer leadership of Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME), along with original co-sponsors Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Patty Murray (D-WA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), John McCain (R-AZ) and John Ensign (R-NV), today after their re-introduction of S. 1192, the ‘Mobile Wireless Tax Fairness Act’ in the U.S. Senate. This important legislation now joins its House companion bill, H.R. 1521, the ‘Cell Tax Fairness Act of 2009,’ for consideration by the 111th Congress. That bill currently has more than 100 co-sponsors, and is scheduled for a House Judiciary Committee subcommittee hearing on June 9th.
This Senate legislation mirrors the House proposal by calling for a responsible 5-year break, or tax moratorium, from all new, discriminatory state and local monthly wireless taxes and fees faced by more than 270 million American wireless consumers. MyWireless.org today urges other Senators and Representatives to follow this common sense leadership, and support the much-needed tax relief brought by these bills.
Brian Johnston, Director of Communications and Federal Advocacy for MyWireless.org, said, “On average, the American wireless consumer today pays more than 15% of their monthly bill in combined government taxes, fees and surcharges — that’s more than twice the tax rate imposed on other competitive goods and services subject to sales tax. In this continuing uncertain economic climate, millions of American wireless users deserve a real break from excessive and ever-increasing taxes on communicating.”
Recent MyWireless.org national consumer surveys show that 80% of wireless consumers polled favored Congress passing a 5-year freeze on all new state and local wireless taxes and fees; 87% feel that all government taxes, fees and surcharges should be clearly itemized on their monthly bills; and 90% feel that the tax rate on their monthly wireless service should be the same, or lower than, the average tax rate they pay on other goods and services.
“Wireless is overwhelmingly the service of choice for staying connected while on the go, and consumers today clearly want to prevent spiraling taxes on wireless. We want to thank Senators Wyden and Snowe, as well as Senators Menendez, Murray, Gillibrand, McCain and Ensign, for defending wireless users all across the country from more unfair and discriminatory taxation at the state and local levels. On behalf of the nation’s millions of wireless consumers, we look forward to working with them to gain additional support from co-sponsors and to see that this important legislation becomes law,” said Johnston.
MyWireless.org is a bipartisan non-profit advocacy organization, made up of consumers, businesses and community leaders from around the country, to protect their mobile communication freedoms at the federal, state and local levels.