CAL Subcommittee Hearing Addresses Cell Phone Tax Fairness

September 18, 2008
Press Release
Washington, D.C. -- Congresswoman Linda Sánchez, Chair of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law (CAL), today held an oversight hearing to discuss H.R. 5793, the Cell Tax Fairness Act of 2008, which would impose a five-year moratorium on any new discriminatory state or local taxes on mobile services, mobile service providers, and mobile service property.

“Working families are being hit hard with the rising cost of gas, food, even healthcare. They need to be assured that their cell phone bills won’t be the next to spin out of control,” said Congresswoman Linda Sánchez. “Any tax increase that may be burdensome to the average consumer should be carefully reviewed.”

Members of the committee heard testimony on the taxes and fees imposed on wireless services and providers, and discussion in determining whether the tax and fee burden is truly unfair and not justifiable.

“We must remember to balance the competing interests concerning the issues addressed by this legislation,” Sánchez said. “As consumers, we want to pay lower taxes and fees on our wireless services. But we understand that state and local governments need revenue to provide the services we need and expect from them.”

Witnesses included The Honorable Gail W. Mahoney on behalf of the National Association of Counties; The Honorable James Clayborne, an Illinois State Senator; Scott Mackey of the law firm Kimbell Sherman Ellis; and Tillman L. Lay on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National League of Cities, the Government Finance Officers Association and the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Administrators.