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Published on Friday, February 1, 2013

Telecommunications tax parity

On January 30, the Senate Energy, Environment & Telecommunications Committee heard a proposal that stemmed from an agreement within the telecommunications industry. Most importantly for cities, SB 5422 provides the fix for the issues raised in the 2011 Sprint Spectrum v. Washington State Department of Revenue case and allows DOR to continue levying sales tax on all cell phones. It also removes the sales tax exemption for residential phone lines.

The bill also requires retailers to collect E911 taxes on prepaid wireless phones and shifts funding of the Washington Telephone Assistance Program and the Telecommunications Relay Service, which are currently funded by dedicated excise taxes, to the state general fund.

Categories: Budget & finance