Consumers may soon get a guarantee that no new local and state taxes will pop up on their cell phone bills over the next few years.
A House Judiciary subcommittee today passed the Cell Tax Fairness Act of 2009 (H.R. 1521), which was first introduced by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Trent Franks (R-Ariz.). The bipartisan bill, which now has 194 co-sponsor, would ban new state or local taxes on mobile phones for the next five years.
Currently, cell phone consumers spend on average more than 15 percent in taxes on their wireless service. This is compared with about 7 percent in taxes on other taxable goods, according to Lofgren.
In a letter written early this year supporting the bill, the National Taxpayers Union, which advocates for American taxpayers, claimed that between 2003 and 2007, taxes on cell phone service increased four times faster than those imposed on other general goods and services.