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California considers charging residents a tax for sending text message

     
12:13 am on Dec 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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[usatoday.com...]

Oh California...

If the headline is not amusing enough, dig a little deeper and you will find that they are considering making this retroactive, collecting tax on texts sent over the last 5 years.

While they're at it maybe they should look into taxing social media posts and internet searches...
12:32 am on Dec 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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As someone who lives in California, the headline is truly not amusing. Nor is it surprising. What is surprising is that they haven't (yet) figured out how to also tax people from out of state who text to someone in state.

While they're at it maybe they should look into...
Please don't give them any ideas!
12:33 am on Dec 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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It took a little hunting, but here [docs.cpuc.ca.gov] is the factual background. Scroll down to page 46 for the Boring Legal Stuff. The “five years retroactive” business seems to be pulled from this item:
All wireless carriers shall submit Tier 2 Advice Letters within 90 days from the date of this Decision, informing the Commission whether they have reported and remitted surcharges on text messaging services revenue. Wireless carriers who have not reported and remitted surcharges on text messaging within the last five years shall identify the amount of intrastate surcharges owed on text messaging services and propose a payment plan in their advice letter filings. The Communications Division is authorized to review and approve the advice letter, including the payment plan, through a Commission resolution.
It’s the only occurrence of the string “five” I can find in the document, though admittedly they do say it twice (once in the primary text and once again in the legal summary) in case any wireless providers missed it the first time around.

And, not to belabor the obvious, “the date of this Decision” means “at some hypothetical date in the hypothetical future”, since at present this is an action the PUC is about to discuss, not an action it has in fact taken.
1:12 am on Dec 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Please don't give them any ideas!

I felt bad about that for a second...

Yes, Lucy24, this is only in the "consideration" phase. In terms of counting chickens before they hatch I did find this (... and propose a payment plan...) interesting.
2:18 pm on Dec 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Well, it looks like the FCC shut this attempt down [sbsun.com], at least for now.

But never fear- Sacramento will be back soon with an even "better" version of the tax!
8:20 pm on Dec 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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That's good, for now.

And now and ode to California (with special thanks to the Beatles):

Should five per cent appear too small
Be thankful I don't take it all
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah I'm the taxman
If you drive a car, I'll tax the street,
If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat.
If you get too cold I'll tax the heat,
If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet.
Don't ask me what I want it for
If you don't want to pay some more
'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman
4:50 am on Dec 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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gubermint=gimme all you got

FCC correct in that changing from information to communication is a big deal. And fraught with peril the gimme all your money folks have not fully thought out.

But that is another story. :)
 

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