House members try again to ban new cellphone taxes

She has also warned that some cities around the country are piling on with other taxes that bring the total burden to more than 20 percent. Lofgren, Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) and other supporters of the bill say there is a risk that states and localities could tax wireless service out of business.

ADVERTISEMENT
Some also warn that excessive taxes on wireless service discriminate against minority families, who often rely on wireless services and do not have a landline.

The bill, H.R. 2309, would ban new taxes on cellphone services for five years, which they hope will give state and federal government representatives and the wireless industry a chance to discuss what level of taxation is best for wireless services.

Steve Largent, president and CEO of CTI-The Wireless Association, welcomed the introduction of the bill.

"On behalf of the more than 300 million wireless users in the U.S., CTIA and our members appreciate Representatives Lofgren and Franks for reintroducing this important bill," he said. "With 144 bipartisan cosponsors, the Wireless Tax Fairness Act must be passed as quickly as possible to protect wireless consumers from any new and discriminating taxes and fees."

As of late Tuesday, the bill actually had 149 co-sponsors, more than one-third of the House.

Lofgren introduced similar legislation in the last Congress, and the House was able to pass it by a voice vote in November 2011. Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) proposed a companion bill in the Senate, but that bill never moved in committee, and was never considered on the Senate floor.