A bill currently making its way through the Virginia General Assembly could serve as a harbinger of things to come for consumers sick of wading through the myriad taxes that appear on their monthly phone bills. The law, HB568, would replace the patchwork quilt of state and local taxes on telecommunications services with a flat 5% tax. What this means for consumers is that those who depend on heavily taxed local telephone, paging, and wireless services would likely see their bills decrease somewhat. Consumers who use services that are not currently taxed, such as VoIP telephones, satellite television, and long distance services would see their bills go up slightly. Virginia's tax department has suggested that the law would be revenue-neutral since lower tax revenue from local telephone, paging, and wireless service would be replaced by revenues derived from taxes on technologies that are currently not taxed. ?From a consumer point of view, any move that helps simplify communications bills without increasing the overall amount of money that consumers must pay is a good one,? said TRAC research associate John Breyault.
Source: Telecommunications Research and Action Center. http://www.trac.org