California is seriously considering a tax on text messages

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SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Taxes on food, clothes, electronics… now text messages? 

It could be a possibility in the Golden State.

According to documents filed by the Public Utilities Commission, a tax on text messages proposed by Commissioner Carla J. Peterman would help fund programs “necessary to preserve and advance universal [phone] service under the federal Communications Act of 1934 [the Act]. 

The proposal says revenue for voice calls has dropped over the years since people don’t talk on the phones much like before, so this proposal would help to collect more money for public programs that provide phone services for low-income residents. 

According to the report, the tax would most likely be a flat fee added to a monthly bill versus a per text tax. 

Those opposed to the tax say the total surcharges collected would not help to preserve and advance universal service, whereas those supporting the tax say it would help. 

California’s Public Purpose Program charges residents a surcharge on utilities, including landlines.

People who are part of California’s Lifeline program, a program that provides discounted landline and wireless services to eligible households, would not be taxed under the proposal.

What do you think? You can read the full proposal here: 

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