I wanted to expand on a previous post regarding the appetite of some states to impose discriminatory taxes on wireless consumers and the efforts of Congress to prevent those initiatives.
Most recently, seven Senators introduced the Mobile Wireless Tax Fairness Act of 2009. The Senate bill seeks to put a 5 year moratorium on new taxes imposed on consumers. The bill is similar to the House version – the “Cell Tax Fairness Act of 2009” (H.R. 1521) – that was introducd by Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren.
Now more than ever Americans are depending on their wireless phones. As we know, smartphones are no longer an item reserved for the rich and famous. They are gadgets of necessity. A recent story in The New York Times highlighted a woman who had been laid off and was relying on her newly-purchased iPhone to be alerted to the latest job opportunities at all times. Her quote from the article says it all: “I absolutely got it for the job search.” On the other side of the coin, device manufacturers like RIM attribute their strong growth to their shift in focus from strictly the enterprise to the mass market. The efforts have paid off as the BlackBerry Curve was the hottest device in the first quarter of 2009.
This is not the time to impose additional taxes on wireless users. Everyday more Americans are enjoying the power of their “mini-computers.” Small businesses are thriving and creating a wireless ecosystem that has enabled consumers to personalize their devices like never before. Please don’t stop the music!