nearvideo California considers plan to tax text messages
The California Public Utilities Commission has withdrawn from its January meeting agenda a scheduled vote on the introduction of a tax on text messaging.
The move came after the Federal Communications Commission declared in Washington, text messaging, an “information service” not a telecommunications service, and thus not subject to fees under California law.
“Prior to this FCC decision,” the CPUC wrote in a statement posted on Twitter, “SMS was not classified service under Federal law.
CALIFORNIA IS CONSIDERING A TAX ON TEXT MESSAGING, CAN LEAD TO A SHOWDOWN WITH FEDERAL REGULATORS
“In light of the FCC action,” the statement added, “assigned Commissioner Carla J. Peterman has withdrawn from the CPUC Jan. 10, 2019 vote agenda the draft decision in docket R. 17-06-023 proposed, to clarify that text-messaging service should be subject to [the state of California, the[ statutory surcharge requirement.”
The CPUC plan was the proposed tax on text messages to help to subsidize the telecommunications services for rural areas, as well as for the low-income and disabled residents.
A report from the Commission why it considers the tax was necessary. He cited in particular the decline in the telecommunications industry, the turnover in the past six years-a decline of almost $5 million.
TEXT MESSAGES, IN ADDITION TO FACE CALIFORNIA TAX, REPORTS SAY
“This is untenable over time,” the report said.
It was not clear from the CPUC, the statement, whether the panel had an alternative plan for the funding of these initiatives.
Jim Patterson, a Republican, the former mayor of Fresno who now represents the state of the 23. The district as a state Assemblyman, was among those the reporting requirements of the CPUC decision to cancel the vote.
“You can bet I’m going to wrote a close eye on them for future shenanigans,” Patterson on Twitter. “Well…look at the Text tax will be abolished.”
Previously, Patterson had signed the text-tax plan as “an egregious attempt at a money-grab by California families.”
The CPUC had claimed that the revenue for its funding programs have been falling as consumers switch from traditional fixed Telecom services, text messaging, FOX 11 Los Angeles reported.
Fox News’ Travis Fedschun contributed to this report.