Heartland Institute Reacts to Wireless Tax Fairness Act

Published July 14, 2011

On July 14, the House Judiciary Committee voted in favor of moving H.R. 1002, the Wireless Tax Fairness Act of 2011, to the full House of Representatives for a vote. If enacted, the bill would place a five-year moratorium on discriminatory state and local wireless phone and data service tax increases.

The following statements, by policy experts at The Heartland Institute, may be used for attribution. For additional comments, refer to the contact information below, or email Tammy Nash ([email protected]) or Jim Lakely at ([email protected]), or call 312-377-4000.


“Wireless taxes on cell phones, tablets, and other devices are at an all-time high and are hindering the expansion of these products to lower-income consumers who could enjoy their benefits. The Wireless Tax Fairness Act is a big step towards protecting taxpayers from these discriminatory taxes for years to come.

“There is no legitimate reason that the combined tax rate on mobile devices should be twice as high as the tax on other goods and services. These discriminatory taxes will hinder the growth of an industry that is on the front lines of innovation and job creation.”

John Nothdurft
Director – Government Relations
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]


“The real ‘cramming’ of hidden costs in wireless bills are the combined federal, state, and local taxes that are double the taxes consumers pay for other goods and services. In some locations such as Nebraska and Washington, these taxes exceed 20 percent of the total bill, which is more than the cost of adding an additional phone line.

“Now that most households have cancelled land line phone service for the convenience of wireless phones, the average tax surcharge of 16.9 percent is onerous for low-income consumers who rely solely on cell phones for emergency purposes. For the rest of the population and businesses also gouged by these taxes, it’s a burdensome nuisance that, unchecked, will result in far less use of wireless phones in the future.”

Bruce Edward Walker
Managing Editor, InfoTech & Telecom News
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]


The Heartland Institute is a 27-year-old national nonprofit organization with offices in Chicago, Illinois; Washington, DC; Austin, Texas; Tallahassee, Florida; and Columbus, Ohio. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.