updated 03:20 pm EDT, Thu March 19, 2009
Cellphone Tax Fairness Act
A cross-party bill has been submitted in the US Congress this week that would at least temporarily ban additional taxes on cellphones or their service. The Cellphone Tax Fairness Act, sponsored by California Democrat representative Zoe Lofgren and Arizona Republican Trent Franks, would prevent any form of "discriminatory" state tax being applied to the technology for five years after the bill is passed. It wouldn't affect existing state taxes or new federal taxes.
Lofgren said the bill would let customers focus their cellphone decisions more on the actual merits of the technology rather than on the amount of taxes applied to a particular service. The CTIA, a key US cellular industry advocacy group, has also voiced its expected support for the measure as it would "ease the tax burden" on end users and also keep prices for phones and service lower.
The Act is still in the early stages and has yet to clear a Judiciary Committee before reaching a general Congressional vote.