Bell Atlantic Applauds Congressional Support for Repeal of the "Tax on Talking"
Company Praises House Vote to Repeal 102-Year Old Tax
May 25, 2000
BACKGROUND - In March, Representatives Robert Portman (R-OH) and Robert Matsui (D-CA) introduced legislation in the House of Representatives (H.R. 3916) to repeal the three-percent federal excise tax on telecommunications services. Today, the House voted in favor of repealing this tax. The following response should be attributed to Tom Tauke, executive vice president for External Affairs and Corporate Communications at Bell Atlantic.
Bell Atlantic applauds the Members of the House of Representatives, especially Reps. Portman and Matsui, Chairman Archer, ranking Member Rangel and the House leadership for voting in favor of the American consumer today. The House overwhelmingly voted 420-2 to repeal the three-percent federal excise tax on telecommunications services.
Bipartisan support for this legislation, as demonstrated by today's vote, puts well over $5 billion, rapidly growing to more than $7 billion a year back into the pockets of American consumers. This 102-year old "Tax on Talking" penalizes all users of telecommunications services, including Internet users and wireless subscribers.
The tax - originally called a luxury tax because only 1,376 homes had a phone in 1898 - affects nearly all Americans today, especially low-income families who spend a higher percentage of their income on telephone service than middle- or upper-income families.
In fact, it is a tax on a tax since it applies after many state and local taxes are added to consumers' bills.
We encourage members of the Senate to quickly pass similar legislation (S.2330) introduced by Senators Roth (R-DE) and Breaux (D-LA) and send it to the President. This legislation will free Americans from this antiquated tax that suffocates the growth of technology and hinders bipartisan efforts to keep the Internet tax-free.
Visit www.notaxontalking.org to learn more.