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Senate introduces Mobile Wireless Tax Fairness Act

The legislation is calling for a five-year halt on new wireless-specific taxes imposed by state or local authorities

Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) have recently introduced the "Mobile Wireless Tax Fairness Act" (S 1192), which promises to enact a five-year halt on new or increased taxes on wireless infrastructure and services. It is supported by Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Patty Murray (D- Wash.), John Ensign (R-Nev.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).

This bill is a companion to the "Cell Tax Fairness Act of 2009" (HR 1521) that was introduced a few months ago by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) of the House. HR 1521 has just been scheduled for a hearing by the House Judiciary Committee. The legislation enjoys wide support in the telecommunications industry; the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA), in particular, voiced its approval, adding that U.S. wireless subscribers paid almost $21 billion in taxes and fees in 2008.

The legislation would not affect current state, local, or federal taxes.