Survey: Most Consumers Want Lower Taxes on Wireless Services

Survey: Most Consumers Want Lower Taxes on Wireless Services
February 6, 2014

A majority of American consumers say wireless communication taxes are too high and should be significantly lower than they are now, according to a recent survey.

The survey, conducted online by McLaughlin & Associates and Penn Schoen Berland, found 84 percent of U.S. consumers say a combined state and local tax rate wireless services is too much.

Taxed Twice As Much

Fifty-four percent of consumers, according to the survey, say the tax rate on their monthly cell phone bill should be lower than 7 percent. This would put it in the range of taxes on most other goods and services. Nationally, the average tax rate on wireless services is more than double the rate on other goods and services. In some states, the tax rate on wireless services tops 20 percent.

The survey of 1,000 adult participants who said they are likely voters was conducted on December 2-6. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.

Seen As Essential

In addition, 81 percent of respondents said they considered wireless services an essential part of daily life. Sixty-five percent said they used a wireless tablet or mobile phone for purposes related to work, school, and personal management.

Rob Schrum, director of political advocacy at MyWireless.org, said although the results of the survey represented an overall consumer satisfaction with wireless services, consumers were highly dissatisfied with how they were being taxed to use them.

“That’s why it’s time for Congress to act and pass the ‘Wireless Tax Fairness Act,’ to provide relief and stability to consumers when they need it the most,” Schrum wrote in a blog post.

Tax Moratorium Introduced

The Wireless Tax Fairness Act, sponsored in the House of Representatives by U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) would place a five-year moratorium on state and local governments’ imposition of new taxes on wireless services.

Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents, 61 percent, said they favored Congress passing such a moratorium.

Josh Peterson (jpeterson@watchdog.org) reports for Watchdog.org, where this article first appeared.