Text tax dropped – what will they try next?

17 Dec

Wow, it was good to see people get their panties in a  rumple over the “text tax” – upset the lobster pot a little.

Meanwhile, according to Rueters, “protesters angry over gas taxes and the high cost of living have been blocking roads across France, impeding access to fuel depots, shopping malls and some airports.” People have been killed, I don’t know how many. An organizer complained on Deutsch Welle News that the government is leaving Parisiens like her with less money to spend, small businesses are failing as a result of both high gas prices and low sales. The French economy, she concluded, is tanking because of over taxation.  

Welcome to California. The California Public Utilities Commission, saying they want to use the money to support “low-income” programs, tried to tack another tax onto our cell service, wiggle it in among the stack of “fees” already listed in the fine print on the back of our bill. Thank goodness for the Federal Communications Commission, although, I don’t understand the ruling, I’ll take it. I don’t think they should be able to tax us by way of our utility bills, but I’m not running the circus.

And what a circus it is! Our taxes already provide transients with free cell phones, give me another straw for my camel’s back why don’t you? 

How soon we forget – I almost have. In 2012, the city of Chico tried to get the voters to approve a tax they’d been collecting illegally, a cell phone tax. Even after the tax had been declared illegal by way of a lawsuit in the 1990’s, cities all over California were still collecting it, the same man had to sue each city individually, including Chico, to make them stop collecting it. Instead of stopping collection, and refunding the money to users as is the law, current city councilor and former mayor Ann Schwab wrote a measure for the 2012 ballot to trick voters into making it legal. 

When friends and I approached voters at venues like the Chico Farmer’s Market, we were shocked to see how shocked people were about this tax – they’d never looked very closely at their bills. And you had to look very closely. So they couldn’t believe the city was actually taxing their cell phone usage, on a percentage of the total bill. They got mad pretty fast. The measure failed. The city had to give refunds. 

That scam and this recent ploy by the CPUC to tack another tax onto our phone bills reminds me – they know what’s legal and illegal, and they don’t care. They will try anything to get more revenues. Right now the city of Chico and CARD are using taxpayer money to hire consultants who conduct “surveys” and write leading ballot measures to try and trick the voters into raising their own taxes. Don’t fall for it. And write your letters to the editor now, tell them you’re not falling for it. Maybe we can save them (ourselves) the cost of another ballot measure.

 

4 Responses to “Text tax dropped – what will they try next?”

  1. bob December 18, 2018 at 12:06 pm #

    How much has CARD spent over the years hiring “consultants” to try to get a tax increase or bond measure (just another form of a tax increase) passed? It must amount to way over $100,000. Maybe in the neighborhood of 200,000 or 300,000. And now the city council is doing the same thing.

    They will stop at nothing to tax us more and no matter how many tax increases get passed it will never be enough. Break out the yellow vests!

    • Juanita Sumner December 18, 2018 at 12:11 pm #

      I think you’re right, I’ve only been paying attention for the last couple of years to how much money CARD has been spending on Consultants. I know that it’s been over a hundred thousand on my watch.

      I’ll be looking into this issue more, the legality of entities like the city and CARD spending taxpayer money pursuing Revenue measures.

  2. Jim December 19, 2018 at 9:59 am #

    Notice how the French deal with these issues. They demand the government change and serve them. Where as here we just elect leaders who make things worse.

    • Juanita Sumner December 20, 2018 at 5:52 am #

      I hope these French Revolution leads to a new American Rsvolution, starting in California!

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