The state of California has abandoned its plan to begin taxing text messages in January, which would have allegedly been used to fund cell phone access for the poor.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) had planned to tax text messaging in order to subsidize cell phone access for the poor, but announced on Friday that the scheme has been ditched due to a ruling made by the FCC.
According to the CPUC, the FCC had ruled that text messaging is an information service, rather than a telecommunications service, which made it no longer subject to a surcharge under California law.
— California PUC (@californiapuc) December 15, 2018
Due to the FCC’s decision to classify text messaging as an information service, Commissioner Carla J. Peterman has withdrawn from the CPUC’s January meeting to vote on the text messaging tax.
The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) added that the tax proposal would create inequity “between wireless carriers and other providers of messaging services,” such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, iMessage, and Skype.
“Subjecting wireless carriers’ text messaging traffic to surcharges that cannot be applied to the lion’s share of messaging traffic and messaging providers is illogical, anticompetitive, and harmful to consumers,” stated the CTIA in a legal filing.
Below are some of the reactions on Twitter regarding California’s proposed text tax.
Of course California wants to tax your text messages. They would tax your toilet use if they could. https://t.co/PIUuiwe2X6
— chris larson (@myblueheavenn) December 12, 2018
– highest state income tax rate
– 2nd highest gasoline tax
– highest state base sales tax rate
– near the highest dmv fees
– near the highest corporate tax rates
Leave my work mileage and my text messages alone! Dam!
— Joeleen C Tacdol (@JoeleenC) December 12, 2018
California with this text tax be like… pic.twitter.com/IbbVcdyux3
— Brodie Surfus (@BrodieSurfus) December 13, 2018
I am so done with California.Why should we have to pay for other peoples lives who arnt contributing to society. This cell phone text message tax idea is complete idiocy. Stop taking our money California! -Signed a California resident.
— SummerTime (@SummerAgenda) December 13, 2018
— DOOZY (@kdangus) December 17, 2018
So gratifying to see #California lost their plan to tax texts. #FCC shut that illegal and immoral #MoneyGrab down. Guess they will have to dream up more constitutional ways to fund their illegal activity
— Frank freeman (@FrankFreemanUSA) December 17, 2018