Geniuses In California Want To Tax Text Messages In Order To Help Low Income Residents

Hannah Bleau

It’s only a matter of time until the kooks in California tax breathing.

According to this, the geniuses in California are toying with the idea of a text message tax. It’s exactly what it sounds like. These jerks want to “charge a fee for text messaging on mobile phones.” But don’t worry! They have a really good reason for it! It’s to help low-income residents solve their mobile phone problems!

Every single time I’ve seen someone paying with an EBT card in line, that individual usually 1.) Has a fresh manicure and 2.) Has the latest iPhone upgrade.

You can say that poor people don’t have access to phones, but I would say that’s not the case. There are SO MANY phone options. You can get a cheap crap phone that does the job and buy minutes whenever you can afford it. Ta-da! Problem solved.

Also, you don’t have the “right” to have a cellphone, so I’m not sure why taxpayers should subsidize that.

State regulators have been ginning up a scheme to charge a fee for text messaging on mobile phones to help support programs that make phone service accessible to the poor. The wireless industry and business groups have been working to defeat the proposal, now scheduled for a vote next month by the California Public Utilities Commission.

“It’s a dumb idea,” said Jim Wunderman, president of the Bay Area Council business-sponsored advocacy group. “This is how conversations take place in this day and age, and it’s almost like saying there should be a tax on the conversations we have.”

It’s unclear how much individual consumers would be asked to pay their wireless carrier for texting services under the proposal. But it likely would be billed as a flat surcharge per customer — one of those irksome fees at the bottom of your wireless bill — not a fee per text.

I don’t care. It’s still an additional charge. Isn’t California unaffordable enough?

Business groups, including the Bay Area Council, California Chamber of Commerce and Silicon Valley Leadership Group and others opposing the idea, calculated the new charges for wireless consumers could total about $44.5 million a year.

But they add that under the regulators’ proposal the charge could be applied retroactively for five years — which they call “an alarming precedent” — and could amount to a bill of more than $220 million for California consumers.

Insanity. It’s all so dumb.

h/t The Mercury News