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June 28
Wireless Tax Legislation Resurfaces in House

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) has once again introduced a bill, the Wireless Tax Fairness Act of 2013 (H.R. 2309), that would preempt state and local tax authority.  Similar to legislation passed by the House in the 112th Congress, the bill, introduced on June 11, prohibits states or local government from imposing any new discriminatory taxes on mobile services, mobile service providers, or mobile service property for five years upon enactment of the legislation.  Discriminatory tax is defined as a state or local tax that is measured by the charges, receipts or revenues from mobile services, mobile service providers or mobile service property.  Although the House passed the bill in the 112th Congress, the measure failed when it was not taken up in the upper chamber.

NACo, along with other state and local government groups opposed passage of this bill in the 112th Congress, and will likely revive opposition efforts for the legislation in the current 113th Congress.  In addition to the preemption concern, opponents of the bill are troubled by the lack of data demonstrating that legislation is even necessary, especially legislation that intrudes on state and local authority.  Furthermore, the measure would essentially create preferential tax treatment for the wireless industry and threaten the fiscal health of states and local governments, as other industries will likely seek similar protections.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced a similar measure, (S. 1235), in the Senate on June 26.  

Contact: Mike Belarmino mbelarmino@naco.org 202.942.4254

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