Heartland Institute Experts Comment on Introduction of Wireless Tax Fairness Act in U.S. Senate

June 27, 2013

Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) this week introduced the Wireless Tax Fairness Act (S. 1235), a bill that would impose a moratorium on state and local taxes on cell phones and other wireless services. The house version of the legislation (H.R. 2309) was introduced by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Trent Franks (R-AZ) earlier this month.

The following statements from tax and technology experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at jlakely@heartland.org and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 312/731-9364.

“Wireless taxes on consumer goods such as cell phones, tablets, and other devices are at an all-time high and are hindering their expansion to consumers. It is not often that Congress has better sense than states and localities when it comes to taxation but this is one of those instances.

“Wireless taxes have been rising faster than on most other goods and it is about time that we hit the stop button on these discriminatory taxes before they undercut innovation and growth of this industry.”

John Nothdurft
Director of Government Relations
The Heartland Institute

“High wireless taxes drag down both consumers and the wireless market, deterring innovation and infrastructure improvements, while disproportionately affecting minority and low-income populations. The continuous addition of new wireless taxes by governments across the country risks harming economic growth in the technology and communications industries, one of the few areas of the economy still growing. Placing a moratorium on these discriminatory tax hikes would benefit both the economy and consumers.”

Matthew Glans
Senior Policy Analyst
The Heartland Institute

“I’m glad to see this bill because states and local governments have been piling taxes on these services with absolutely no good reason to do so. In some states the tax rates on these services top 20 percent. Nationally, the average tax rate is more than double the tax rates on other goods and services. It’s got to stop.”

Steve Stanek
Research Fellow, Budget and Tax Policy
The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor
Budget & Tax News

The Heartland Institute is a 29-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.