California Wants to Tax Your Text Messages. Here’s Why


Have you found yourself texting people instead of calling them? Sure. Have you stopped to debate whether texting is a form of “telecommunications” or an “information service?” Chances are the answer is “no”.

California’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is betting you haven’t either — and the difference matters because the commission has jurisdiction over telecommunications, which includes telephone calls. What’s more, it wants to extend an existing tax on calls to include text messages, the Mercury Newsreports.

Should it get its way, then Californians may soon be taxed on every text they send from their cell phones.

Read the rest of the story on Fortune

Get Headlines free  SUBSCRIPTION. Keep us publishing – DONATE

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
1 Comment
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
c e voigtsberger

In a related article in this same issue:

“SACRAMENTO — State Controller Betty T. Yee today reported the state received $9.69 billion in revenue in November, exceeding projections in the 2018-19 fiscal year budget by 15.1 percent, or $1.27 billion.

“Personal income tax (PIT), sales tax, and corporation tax –– the state’s “big three” revenue sources –– all were higher than expected in the enacted budget.

“For the fiscal year, revenues of $44.97 billion are 5.4 percent ($2.29 billion) higher than projected in the budget enacted at the end of June. Total revenues for FY 2018-19 thus far are 9.8 percent ($4.02 billion) higher than through the same five months of FY 2017-18.

“For November, PIT receipts of $5.96 billion were 22.3 percent ($1.09 billion) more than expected in the FY 2018-19 Budget Act.

“Sales tax receipts of $3.52 billion for November were 12.4 percent ($388.4 million) greater than anticipated in the FY 2018-19 budget.

“November corporation taxes of $26.9 million were 2.8 percent higher than FY 2018-19 Budget Act estimates.”

So curious taxpayers want to know why the need for additional taxes if the state is already collecting so much?

Is it more of “We want the money so we can find some more ways to spend?”

It would seem to me the rational approach would be to try to reduce spending and taxes rather than adding to taxes in order to be able to spend more.