Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Tax Simplification for Wireless Services Moves Virtually Unopposed

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Tax Simplification for Wireless Services Moves Virtually Unopposed

Article excerpt

Mayor French Voices NLC Support

Testimony at a Senate committee hearing last week exhibited widespread support for a bill to simplify taxes for wireless services from federal, state and local government officials and the telecommunications industry.

Mayor Irene French of Merriam, Kan., testified for the National League of Cities in support of municipal authority to address local tax simplification for telecommunications services during a hearing held last week before the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. The Committee heard testimony regarding S. 1755, the Mobile Telecommunications Sourcing Act (MTSA), introduced last year by Senators Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) in an effort to address tax simplification for telecommunications services across the nation.

"This legislation puts local governments and service providers on a level playing field by sparing them from the arduous task and expense of determining the taxability of every individual call included in a wireless service bill," said French, who chairs NLC's Finance, Administration and Intergovernmental Relations Policy Committee.

"For local governments, uniformity that respects local autonomy is important, because it simplifies compliance for our cities and avoids multiple taxation."

Mayor French's testimony conveyed NLC's support of the bill as well as the bill's federal recognition of the role of local governments in telecommunications and taxation. "This bill is a clear indicator that local governments and industry can work together to forge solutions that address both the critical fiscal needs of cities and business needs of the telecommunications industry," she continued.

"This is one of those few pieces of legislation that moves without controversy because it is so imminently sensible," Sen. Dorgan said at the hearing. …

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