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Wireless World: Local taxes at issue

Great story about how local taxes drive up the costs of wireless phone usage.
By Gene J. Koprowski
UPI Technology News

Published 12/17/2004 10:11 AM
CHICAGO, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Local taxes are demonstrably driving up the cost of wireless phone usage for consumers, in some cases adding 20 percent to monthly bills. With this much at stake, the major mobile-phone-service purveyors -- Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, Sprint and Cingular -- have begun battling local government agencies, arguing that the taxation, or at least some of it, may be illegal. The tax cases are working their way through local government administrative agencies, but telecom experts told UPI's Wireless World they expect the contentious issue to make its way into the courts soon and, perhaps within the next year or so, lead to a mobile-phone tax mutiny. "The telecom industry is the industry most burdened with taxation, and a lot of it is confusing," said Jon Abolins, an attorney and senior vice president of operations at Taxware, a software and services firm in Salem, Mass. "Just take a look at your local bill."-- Wireless World is a weekly series by UPI examining the technological, cultural and economic implications of mobile technologies, by Gene J. Koprowski, who covers technology for UPI Science News. E-mail:

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