Mobile Wireless Tax Moratorium Proposed


Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) have introduced the Mobile Wireless Fairness Act of 2009, which would put a five-year moratorium on new taxes or tax increases on wireless telecommunications infrastructure or service.

"While the telecommunications industry has emerged as one of the most vital and innovative sectors of the 21st century, American consumers are increasingly getting hit with excessive and discriminatory taxes to have access to wireless services in their day-to-day lives," said Snowe in announcing the bill's introduction.

Among the mobile services they want to remain affordable are 4G networks that could provide sufficient bandwidth for high-speed Internet access in rural areas, which are a target population of the new administration's broadband stimulus policy.

They argue that taxes on mobile wireless are already equal to "vice taxes" on booze and cigarettes, and the legislation would prevent them from "spiraling out of control."

The bill has a number of supporters, say Wyden and Snowe, including Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.).