• Nick Sorrentino

California may impose a tax on text messages.

Because California doesn't already tax everything else under the West Coast sun right?

Text messages? Do you know what kind of bills teenagers are going to rack up for their parents? It gives me shudders to even imagine.

No doubt California already does tax your toilet in some way.

(From The USA Today)
California is determining whether surcharges and user fees on text messaging comply with Public Purpose Programs, which use tax revenue to make telecommunications services accessible to low-income residents. The programs, which date to the 1930s, were given a face-lift in the late 1990s, allowing individual states to impose requirements to preserve what's referred to as a "universal service."...
..."Subjecting wireless carriers’ text messaging traffic to surcharges that cannot be applied to the lion’s share of messaging traffic and messaging providers is illogical, anticompetitive and harmful to consumers," CTIA said in the filings.

It would in fact be idiotic. That's right, throw a whole mess of dirt right into the gears of the real economy. This won't impact anything. We don't see how this would hurt Grub Hub, or Uber, or pretty much any similar service. We don't see how burdening these businesses and their customers even more with a text tax might slow commerce. Nope. Should be good for sales tax receipts too.

But beyond that, California thinks it's OK to tax a digital packet that costs almost nothing. California thinks it's within the rights of the state to extract tribute from you for speaking digitally. Some people don't have a problem with this.

If this goes through watch for a social media tax.