H.R. 1002: Wireless Tax Fairness Act of 2011

H.R. 1002

Wireless Tax Fairness Act of 2011

Sponsor
Rep. Zoe Loefgren

Date
November 1, 2011 (112th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Sarah Makin

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, November 1, 2011, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 1002, the Wireless Tax Fairness Act of 2011, under a suspension of the rules requiring a two-thirds majority for passage.  H.R. 1002 was introduced by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) on March 10, 2011, and was referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.

Bill Summary

H.R. 1002 would prohibit state and local governments from imposing certain “new discriminatory taxes” on providers of wireless communications service (mobile services, mobile service providers, or mobile service property, cell phones) for five years after enactment of the legislation.  The bill would define "new discriminatory tax" as a tax imposed on mobile services, providers, or property that is not generally imposed on, or that is generally imposed at a lower rate on, other types of services, providers, or property, unless such tax was imposed and actually enforced prior to the enactment of this Act.

The bill would also require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a study examining the impact of the moratorium on consumers.

Background

According to House Report 112-188, the average combined state and local tax rate on wireless telecommunications services is significantly higher than the combined state and local sales tax rate imposed on the purchase of other goods and services.  The wireless industry and many state and local government groups agree that wireless tax reform is needed.

Cost

According to Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates, enacting H.R. 1002 would have no significant impact on the federal budget.  Pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply to this legislation because it would not affect direct spending or revenues.