New Cell Phone Bill Aims to Keep Pesky Local Taxes at Bay

The House Judiciary subcommittee had passed the bi-partisan Cell Tax Fairness Act of 2009, which would keep local and state taxes on mobile phone bills at bay over the next five years. Part of the bill is to prevent local and state government from levying additional or new taxes on a user’s phone bills, though it would not take away local governments’ powers to generate revenue by still upholding any existing taxes that are already in place.

The bill would also not ban the federal government from levying new taxes, however, and the 911 fee and Universal Service Fund fees would still apply.

The bill has garnered the support of the Wireless Association, known as the CTIA. The Association hopes that the bill gets passed before Congress breaks for midterm elections and says that the bill may help to spur innovation. It also claims that local taxes do not help the federal government achieve its goal of nation-wide affordable broadband access, though the industry itself often levies its own fees disguised as regulatory fees.

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