I received the following interesting pamphlet along with my monthly Verizon bill (which they were kind enough not to pad with bogus charges for once). Is the Boston Talk Party forthcoming?FEDERAL EXCISE TAX ON COMMUNICATIONS â€“ “Tax on Talk”
Ever wonder what the “Federal Excise Tax” is on your monthly wireless bill? Well, think of it as a very outdated “Tax on Talk.” The tax was imposed by President William McKinley in 1898 to help fund the Spanish American War. It was originally a luxury tax, at a time when only the wealthy had phones. The war only lasted for four months, but the Tax on Talk is still around more than 100 years later. Today, every person who makes a phone call, pays 3% on every monthly phone bill for this outdated tax. Contact Congress today to tell them after 107 years, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
Much In Dues About Nothing
The Tax on Talk was first introduced as a “temporary” luxury tax in 1898 to fund the Spanish American War. Unlike other excise taxes like “sin taxes” that are intended to do good by decreasing the use of particular product, there is no lofty goal or benefit from the Tax on Talk. Also unlike other excise taxes, the money raised through the Tax on Talk is not “earmarked” for a specific purposeâ€”not even to improve service or support for the telecom services that are being singled out for the tax! In fact, the Tax on Talk makes access to wireless (and other telecom) services less affordable for many Americans.
A Tax Hodgepodge That Hurts Consumers
The Tax on Talk makes wireless services less affordable for all wireless consumers, and puts the safety and security of wireless service out of reach for too many Americans. As far back as 1987, the U.S. Department of Treasury said the Tax on Talk caused “inequalities among households.” That’s bureaucratic-speak for “the tax hurts poor and middle-class families more than wealthier ones.” Treasury even said there was no reason to continue the Tax on Talk and that it hurt our nation’s economic efficiency, discouraging improvements in technology and improved services. Recent court rulings have also created an uneven environment, where some services are taxed and some aren’t! It’s really a mess. Repealing the Tax on Talk would help speed innovation in new communications technologies and prevent a hodge-podge of taxes on services.
Washington Still Doesn’t Get It!
Some policymakers in Washington think the Tax on Talk just needs to be updated TO TAX MORE SERVICES! In January of 2005, staff of the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation recommended that the Tax on Talk should be modernized to tax new and emerging services and expanded to tax services which have not been taxed before, including Internet access. This proposal flies in the face of previous work in Congress to prevent taxing many of these services â€“ not to mention common sense! Not only does the Tax on Talk need to not be expanded, it needs to be repealed!!
Repealing the Tax on Talk: Things Are Moving!
U.S. Representative Gary Miller has a proposal, H.R. 1898, and Senator Rick Santorum has introduced a bill, S. 1321, both of which will repeal the Tax on Talk! We need your help to repeal this regressive, inequitable, inefficient tax that and serves no rational good purpose. Washington needs to hear from consumers like you that wireless service shouldn’t be subject to a 100- year-old luxury tax!! Urge your Representatives and Senators to support H.R. 1898 and S. 1321 to repeal the Tax on Talk today!