BEDMINSTER, NJ — This weekend, as millions of Americans put the finishing touches on their personal tax returns and anticipate federal or state refunds, it's time to consider other taxes that you pay. Studies show that anywhere from 10 percent to 25 percent of a wireless consumer's monthly bill might go to local, state and federal taxes, fees and government mandates, and wireless service is almost always taxed at a higher rate than other goods and services.
Verizon Wireless, owner and operator of the nation's premier wireless network, is working on behalf of its consumers across the country to seek to eliminate discriminatory taxes on wireless service and to give consumers the freedom to spend their money on things other than taxes. For example:
- Florida: Florida consumers pay some of the highest taxes in the nation for their wireless services. Verizon Wireless is actively supporting legislation that would lower the state communications services tax to 6 percent from the current rate of 9.17 percent.
- Oregon: Several local cities throughout the state are trying to selectively tax wireless services, putting an extra financial burden on consumers who rely on their mobile phones to stay in touch with family, friends and business associates. Verizon Wireless is opposing these new taxes.
- Pennsylvania: Wireless services in this state have been double-taxed for more than two years; wireless services are subject to a 5 percent Gross Receipts Tax, on top of a 6 percent state sales tax. The state House of Representatives has already voted to repeal the tax. Verizon Wireless is working with consumers to convince the State Senate and the Governor to support the repeal of this tax.
- South Dakota: Verizon Wireless continues to work on behalf of consumers and is pursuing a ballot initiative that will allow citizens to vote on the repeal of a 4 percent Gross Receipts Tax. The Gross Receipts Tax is imposed on wireless services in addition to a 4 percent state sales tax.
- Federal Excise Tax: Recent federal court decisions have declared the Federal Excise Tax, originally imposed to help pay for the Spanish-American War, no longer valid with respect to certain "all distance" telecommunications services. But, the IRS has advised phone companies, including wireless service providers, that they still must collect this 3 percent tax from consumers. Verizon Wireless is seeking new advice from the U.S. Treasury that would no longer require us to collect the tax from our consumers.
For more information on wireless tax issues, visit www.mywireless.org.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 51.3 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.
Additional Media Contacts:
Florida: Chuck Hamby, Verizon Wireless, 813.615.4803, Chuck.Hamby@VerizonWireless.com
Oregon: Georgia Taylor, Verizon Wireless, 425.603.2894, Georgia.Taylor@VerizonWireless.com
Pennsylvania: Laura Merritt, Verizon Wireless, 614.560.2605, Laura.Merritt@VerizonWireless.com or Sheldon Jones, Verizon Wireless, 215.638.5668, Sheldon.Jones@VerizonWireless.com
South Dakota: Karen Smith, Verizon Wireless, 763.595.2511, Karen.Smith@VerizonWireless.com