Mountain View Voice

Opinion - October 15, 2010

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.

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