FCC tries to fly an internet tax under the radar
Here we go again. Unaccountable bureaucracy has decided it needs to tax you some more:
The Federal Communications Commission is eyeing a proposal to tax broadband Internet service.
The move would funnel money to the Connect America Fund, a subsidy the agency created last year to expand Internet access.
The FCC issued a request for comments on the proposal in April. Dozens of companies and trade associations have weighed in, but the issue has largely flown under the public’s radar.
Well, for the usual reasons, of course:
"Today we propose three goals for contribution reform: efficiency, fairness, and sustainability," Genachowski said. "And we underscore that any reforms to the contribution system must safeguard core Commission objectives, including the promotion of broadband innovation, investment, and adoption."
That’s right friends, they have first claim to your earnings out of "fairness". Because, you know, not everyone has internet and well, it’s a "right" now, or something.
If you’ve ever looked at your phone bill, you know that you’re already paying a fee (tax) called the Universal Service Fund . But that fund just isn’t making it:
Consumers already pay a fee on their landline and cellular phone bills to support the FCC’s Universal Service Fund. The fund was created to ensure that everyone in the country has access to telephone service, even if they live in remote areas.
So last year the FCC established the Connect America Fund to funnel subsidy money (taxes) into construction of an internet infrastructure, because, you know, private companies, the one’s who’ve made the internet what it is today, simply can’t be left to do that.
And in recent years, with more people sending emails instead of making long-distance phone calls, the money flowing into the program has begun to dry up. The Universal Service fee has had to grow to a larger and larger portion of phone bills to compensate.
As more and more homes go fully wireless that fund (taxes) they had is drying up.
Time to update the fee (tax) and fund. How? It’s only "fair" of course.
The FCC could run into legal problems with the Internet Tax Freedom Act, a 1998 law that bans the government from taxing Internet access. But the FCC has long argued that Universal Service is a fee that the providers choose to pass on to consumers and not a tax.
Ah, providers chose to pass that along to consumers so it’s not a tax. Right. I see how that works.
Numerous companies, including AT&T, Sprint and even Google have expressed support for the idea.
Gee, there's a surprise (*cough* cronyism *cough*).