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Thread: California is wanting to tax text messages for budget shortfall.

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    California is wanting to tax text messages for budget shortfall.

    From Phonescoop.com

    California state legislators have suggested the state implement a tax on text messages in order to help fund the Public Purpose Program. The PPP is similar to the Mobility Fund operated by the federal government. It levies a tax on wireless services and uses those funds to offer low-cost or free wireless service to low-income residents. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), which is the entity behind the proposal, says the texting tax could help close the PPP's budget gap, which stands at close to $330 million. Because the proposal would still tax voice calls, the CPUC suggests those who talk more than text will see a higher tax based on those voice calls, while those who text more than talk will see a higher tax based on those texts. The CTIA, a lobbying group for the wireless industry, pushed back against the proposal. "Subjecting wireless carriers' text messaging traffic to surcharges that cannot be applied to the lion's share of messaging traffic and messaging providers is illogical, anticompetitive and harmful to consumers," said the CTIA in a filing. The tax would not apply to messaging services such as iMessage, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp, all of which push messages over data connections, rather than the legacy short-messaging service connection. Some suggest the new tax would unfairly impact the very people the plan proposes to help. The CPUC could vote on the matter as early as this week.


    Commentary: This is just another cash grab. I hope this fails, and never comes to fruition. I live in New Mexico, and our state isn't as bonkers as CA, yet. Lets hope the other 49 states dont get this stupid idea.

    Sent from my phone somewhere from Planet Earth.

    Sent from a guy in Southeast New Mexico, that likes technology.

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    As far as I know, wireless carriers have always passed on added fees/surcharges and taxes levied or legislated from county, state and federal governments. This proposal is California specific; not AT&T derived. If it does become a bill I'm not sure whether or not it will pass?

    Legislative governments use taxes to pay for or help defray the costs of services or goods. In this case CA. is trying to help recoup the costs associated with all those free cell phones and free service they offer to lower incomed residents.

    Usually wireless carriers that pass on these fees to consumers will send a mailer letting their patrons know the added taxes are going up $0.10 / $0.20 etc.

    If it were still 2012 someone on HoFo would then ask the question if they'll be able to get out of their wireless contract due to a similar move.
    “The Internet wasn’t meant to be metered in bits and bytes, so it’s insane that wireless companies are still making you buy it this way. The rate plan is dead — it’s a fossil from a time when wireless was metered by every call or text.” John Legere 1/5/2017

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    Quote Originally Posted by dubya575 View Post
    From Phonescoop.com

    California state legislators have suggested the state implement a tax on text messages in order to help fund the Public Purpose Program. The PPP is similar to the Mobility Fund operated by the federal government. It levies a tax on wireless services and uses those funds to offer low-cost or free wireless service to low-income residents. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), which is the entity behind the proposal, says the texting tax could help close the PPP's budget gap, which stands at close to $330 million. Because the proposal would still tax voice calls, the CPUC suggests those who talk more than text will see a higher tax based on those voice calls, while those who text more than talk will see a higher tax based on those texts. The CTIA, a lobbying group for the wireless industry, pushed back against the proposal. "Subjecting wireless carriers' text messaging traffic to surcharges that cannot be applied to the lion's share of messaging traffic and messaging providers is illogical, anticompetitive and harmful to consumers," said the CTIA in a filing. The tax would not apply to messaging services such as iMessage, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp, all of which push messages over data connections, rather than the legacy short-messaging service connection. Some suggest the new tax would unfairly impact the very people the plan proposes to help. The CPUC could vote on the matter as early as this week.


    Commentary: This is just another cash grab. I hope this fails, and never comes to fruition. I live in New Mexico, and our state isn't as bonkers as CA, yet. Lets hope the other 49 states dont get this stupid idea.

    Sent from my phone somewhere from Planet Earth.
    This is absurd. As a Californian I’m sad but not surprised to see this stupidity from Sacramento. If this passes I’ll probably change my area code and see if that does the trick. When will CA learn that regressive taxes hurt the middle class and the poor?

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    I’ve always felt that solar technology has been held back because no one has figured out yet who owns the sun. Can you imagine what the blue states are going to do to recoup all those fees on your electricity bills evaporate as folks use solar and batteries to stay off the grid.
    Pixel 2, Moto X4 & Moto G6 on Google Fi
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    https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/20...text-messages/

    The proposed plan could be complicated by a new Federal Communication Commission ruling. On Wednesday, the FCC approved a new rule that classifies text messages as an “information service” like email. Proponent of the rule say it will give carriers the ability to crack down on spam messages, and critics say it could lead to carriers censoring messages.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterfield View Post
    Can you imagine what the blue states are going to do to recoup all those fees on your electricity bills evaporate as folks use solar and batteries to stay off the grid.
    Can't we keep politics out of this discussion ?? It should not be a Democrat vs. Republican debate.
    Don't make me turn this car around.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by dubya575 View Post
    From Phonescoop.com

    California state legislators have suggested the state implement a tax on text messages in order to help fund the Public Purpose Program. The PPP is similar to the Mobility Fund operated by the federal government. It levies a tax on wireless services and uses those funds to offer low-cost or free wireless service to low-income residents. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), which is the entity behind the proposal, says the texting tax could help close the PPP's budget gap, which stands at close to $330 million. Because the proposal would still tax voice calls, the CPUC suggests those who talk more than text will see a higher tax based on those voice calls, while those who text more than talk will see a higher tax based on those texts. The CTIA, a lobbying group for the wireless industry, pushed back against the proposal. "Subjecting wireless carriers' text messaging traffic to surcharges that cannot be applied to the lion's share of messaging traffic and messaging providers is illogical, anticompetitive and harmful to consumers," said the CTIA in a filing. The tax would not apply to messaging services such as iMessage, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp, all of which push messages over data connections, rather than the legacy short-messaging service connection. Some suggest the new tax would unfairly impact the very people the plan proposes to help. The CPUC could vote on the matter as early as this week.


    Commentary: This is just another cash grab. I hope this fails, and never comes to fruition. I live in New Mexico, and our state isn't as bonkers as CA, yet. Lets hope the other 49 states dont get this stupid idea.

    Sent from my phone somewhere from Planet Earth.
    New Mexico residents on average currently pay more in fed/state and local taxes on their cell phone bill than Californians. Hard to believe I know!

    https://taxfoundation.org/cell-phone...eid=5739982070

    In fact 17 states currently pay more in cell phone taxes than Californians do. But this state is my home and I wouldn't trade my home for the world.

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    Being here in a blue state, I would bet with monopoly money, that they might get that dumb idea here. For clarity, New Mexico relies on most of its revenue from oil and gas. It flows into the public schools, roads and highways, you name it. For all of that, our area of the state does not get a second look. It would be just like Santa Fe (our state capitol) to see what CA is doing, and try to apply it here. I can see why both opponents and proponents are talking about this. To some, it looks like nothing more than a cash grab. Others, they see the benefit. Personally I feel we as a country are taxed enough. I was hoping for a spirited debate, and so far, I have seen some good points! Carry on!

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    California is wanting to tax text messages for budget shortfall.

    Quote Originally Posted by veriztd View Post
    Can't we keep politics out of this discussion ?? It should not be a Democrat vs. Republican debate.
    Well he makes a good point! A lot of these blue states are proposing some of these crazy new taxes. It’s impossible to keep politics out of this. Being that I live in the blue state of CT, it wouldn’t surprise me if the politicians here proposed this BS tax in the future since California is trying to do it.
    Hartford, CT Area

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    So when I read the title I thought, “How would one tax text messages when these are basically unlimited?”
    Will carriers be required to calculate a tax amount for each text message sent and received or will it just be another $2.00 on everyone’s bill?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    I only have a data plan that can't text and use GV, I better not see it on my bill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRC72 View Post
    Well he makes a good point! A lot of these blue states are proposing some of these crazy new taxes. It’s impossible to keep politics out of this. Being that I live in the blue state of CT, it wouldn’t surprise me if the politicians here proposed this BS tax in the future since California is trying to do it.
    Your state currently charges some of the lowest state cell phone taxes in the nation at 7.82% and lists at number 45. That should offer some comfort.

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    NM might have lower telecom taxes, but when I think of the gross negligence our leaders here have done concerning infrastructure, I can see an idea like this happening. Like I said before we rely alot on oil and gas. NM is almost last in education. So many other things to fix, and better ideas needed than a tax on messaging. I just think that it's a overreach in CA. Some of the worst ideas dont happen, but get tweaked and snuck in later. Slide of hand technique. We have had many of those dumb ideas here in NM. Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Las Cruces values dont represent us here in Southeast NM.

    In CA, you get taxed all over the place, probably more than the average bear. I would bet If Yogi Bear (being smarter than the average bear) lived in CA, he would probably leave. Imagine a excess tax on his picnic baskets. Suddenly doesn't seem like a bad idea to move elsewhere. Just another analogy.

    Sent from my phone somewhere from Planet Earth.

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    California is wanting to tax text messages for budget shortfall.

    Quote Originally Posted by @TheRealDanny View Post
    Your state currently charges some of the lowest state cell phone taxes in the nation at 7.82% and lists at number 45. That should offer some comfort.
    See that’s the dirty little secret, it really isn’t 7.82% There are many other hidden fees that the state tacks on to my bill. The Telecom tax is just one part of it. My parents Consumer Cellular plan is $15. Their bill after taxes is a little over $18, effectively making it a 20% tax if you do the math. Not the 7.82% that you listed. So CT is not one of the lowest as you stated.

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