California’s public utilities commission is set to vote to approve taxing text messages next month, so sending texts and emojis could soon cost you more on top of your monthly bill. This new proposal aims to expand the public programs tax to text messages, while others argue that some service wireless carriers — the ones who bundle services — already charge the proposed tax on texting. To be more specific, many wireless carriers bundle services and charged a fixed rate, so those consumers already pay a surcharge on the cost for their texts. However, for plans structured with separate costs for voice and texting services, this would be a new surcharge. Read more for a news report and additional information.
The current rate right now is under 7%, so for $20 dollars of texting charges, the tax would cost subscribers another $1.40, if the commission votes on the proposal on January 10, and it passes. It’s the latest attempt to balance the nation’s continued shift toward cellular phones and a state’s need to keep funding public programs with taxes on consumers who do not have a landline.
“The industry filed a petition asking the CPUC to clarify whether text messaging should be included in the bill amount that is subject to the existing surcharges. The pending draft proposal recommends that the CPUC include text messaging revenue as part of the total bill amount subject to surcharge,” a spokesman for the commission told NBC News.