Texting tax? California mulls texting fee to help the poor

Posted: Updated:
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -

Imagine having to pay a fee every time you sent a text message.

California lawmakers are considering a plan to charge a fee for text messaging on mobile phones to help support programs that make phone service accessible to the poor, according to the Mercury News newspaper.

It's unclear how much money individual consumers would be asked to pay their wireless carrier for texting services under the proposal, the newspaper said. But it is likely would be billed as a flat surcharge - not a fee per text.

No such proposal is currently on the books in New Jersey. But many Garden State residents told News 12 New Jersey that they would not be surprised if it happened in the future. New Jersey is one of the most taxed states in the nation.

“They’re going to have a revolt in New Jersey if they tried to pull off something like that,” said Chris Mazzarella of Carteret. “I mean we’re already overtaxed.”

“We’re already, in New Jersey, getting taxed for so many things. It’s not like you’re texting for free. It’s not a free service,” said Woodbridge resident Mindy Barnett.

The proposal is scheduled for a vote next month by the California Public Utilities Commission.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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