Oregon Bribes Carriers To Increase Cellphone Taxes?

The Oregon state legislature is considering passing a new tax of 5% on cellular phone service in the state. This is just the latest in what seems to be an endless stream of government bodies too spineless to raise taxes, and trying to hide new taxes in other services. They hide them in things like road tolls, DMV fees, and all sorts of other fees for things that used to be free. But the mobile phone bill seems to be the favorite target of late, probably because it’s a service that is getting better, and also has dropping prices — allowing the governments to install taxes without increasing the overall price. I’m actually in favor of taxes in a general sense: I think money spent on public goods can do more for the net social benefit than the same money spent on someone’s $2,600 deluxe BBQ (I guess I’m an oddball). But I like clarity and fairness in taxes. Someone will have to explain to me why cellular phone users should pay a larger share. Since carriers are (obviously) against taxes tacked on to their services, the Oregon government has found an shady way to get the carriers to agree: bribe them. “The bill would allow telecom carriers to keep 3.25 percent of taxes collected.” So far the carrier’s still aren’t on board, but Oregonians beware: your government is offering kickbacks to corporations to tax you.

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