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Editorial endorsement: Phone tax upgrade justified

In Mountain View, home of Google and numerous high-tech firms, voters should easily understand the city's effort to broaden its phone tax to cover VOIP and other modern technology.

Measure T would make sure that residents using the latest technology would not escape the tax paid by residents using traditional phones. Last year, revenue from the phone tax dropped $50,000, which city officials believe is revenue lost to users of new technology.

At the same time, the measure will extend the city's phone tax to interstate and international phone calls, a worthwhile broadening of the tax which will be a virtually undetectable for the average resident, who might see an additional two cent charge on a 15 minute call.

Unless a heavy user of VOIP, this upgrade is expected to have a negligible impact on individual or business tax bills. It is the city's job to make sure that such taxes continue to be relevant and cover residents equally.

We recommend a yes vote on Measure T.

Comments

Posted by nil, a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 1, 2010 at 7:49 pm

If one uses a free voice over ip service, how does the city gain any revenue at all?

Does the city go bankrupt if everyone switches to google voice?

Do you start taxing email because it can be used for communication?

Do you start taxing use of facebook and other online services because they can be used for communication?

Do you start taxing multiplayer online games that can also have voice communication between players?

Did the authors of this measure even understand technology?


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