Washington, D.C. (September 20, 2012) – Yesterday, the bipartisan, pro-consumer advocacy group, MyWireless.org, awarded Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (CA-16) with the 2012 Wireless Consumer Hero Award for her commitment to wireless tax relief for American consumers and businesses.
Congresswoman Lofgren is one of the original sponsors of the bipartisan ‘Wireless Tax Fairness Act’ (H.R. 1002) and was instrumental in its passage in the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2011. Lofgren has consistently encouraged the development and adoption of affordable wireless technology, and recognizes the need to address the excessive and discriminatory nature of wireless taxes and fees that currently exist.
“I was proud to introduce the bi-partisan, pro-consumer Wireless Tax Fairness Act as a common sense approach for expanding access and innovation in our nation’s wireless broadband market,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA). “Wireless broadband has become a crucial platform for American innovation and economic growth. We need forward thinking policies putting wireless services on an equal tax footing with other goods and services to better compete in the global marketplace of tomorrow.”
Wireless devices have become an easy target for new taxes as cash-strapped state and local governments look for new sources of income. As a result, the average wireless consumer pays more than 16% in combined monthly federal, state and local wireless taxes and fees. That’s more than double the average sales tax rate for other goods and services.
“This legislation is a fantastic example of lawmakers from both parties working together to address increasingly unfair efforts by state and local governments to balance their books on the backs of wireless consumers.” said Steve Largent, President & CEO of CTIA – The Wireless Association. “On behalf of our consumer advocacy group, MyWireless.org, we particularly want to thank Congresswoman Lofgren for her tireless work defending wireless users across this country from more unfair, new state and local wireless taxation.”
The Wireless Tax Fairness Act would prohibit state and local governments from tacking on any new taxes and fees on a specific communications service, such as wireless, for five years. This five-year freeze would provide wireless consumers with a much-needed break from even higher taxes and fees, and a window to develop a tax and fee structure that is fair and sensible. The U.S. Senate is currently considering its companion bill (S. 543).
MyWireless.org® is a nonpartisan, non-profit national advocacy organization made up of U.S. wireless consumers, businesses and community leaders and supports reasonable, pro-consumer and pro-taxpayer wireless policies. MyWireless.org is a project of CTIA-The Wireless Association®. For more information, visit www.mywireless.org.
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