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RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine yesterday (April 10) signed House Bill 568, landmark legislation that updates and simplifies the state's complex and outdated system of communications taxes. Virginia's citizens currently pay the nation's highest rate of combined state and local communications taxes for their telephone service - averaging 30 percent, more than twice the national average. H.B. 568 reduces that rate by eliminating four existing communications taxes and replacing them with a low, five-percent rate across the board for all communications services. The following statement should be attributed to Robert W. Woltz Jr., president of Verizon Virginia.
"Virginia's lawmakers have set an example for the rest of the country, bringing the commonwealth's communications tax system up to speed with today's competitive marketplace.
"This simplified communications tax system will benefit citizens by overhauling one of the most regressive taxes in Virginia, replacing it with a fair, equitable system that doesn't discriminate among the various methods competitors use to deliver communications services.
"Communications tax reform was a tremendous collaborative effort involving the communications industry, state and local governments. We applaud these groups' hard work, and we salute Gov. Kaine and the General Assembly - particularly Del. Sam Nixon, who worked tirelessly in championing the legislation."