If passed, this is how California's 'text tax' would affect your cellphone bill

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Last night, The FCC backed California tax payers by re-classifying text messaging as "information services," rather than "telecommunication services."

The move presents an obstacle for the The California Public Utilities Commission's (CPUC) plan to impose a surcharge on Californians' cellphone bills because "information services" cannot be taxed.

However, the Regional Business Association's Bay Area Council says the CPUC can still find a way to enact the "text tax."

RELATED: New FCC ruling could block proposed text messaging tax in CA

The CPUC says its proposed tax would not be a fee for each text you send, and it would not apply to services like iMessage.

It would be a monthly charge as a percentage of your cellphone bill.

You already pay some of those.

For example, you pay about 3.75 percent for Universal Lifeline Telephone Service, which funds discounts for low-income customers.



RELATED: California wants to tax your text messages

You pay .40 percent for the Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program, which funds free specialized equipment to customers who need them.

The CPUC says it needs the "text tax" because revenue that funds those programs is down, since people are making fewer calls and texting more.

The CPUC has not commented on the FCC's ruling. It's scheduled to vote on the tax on January 10.

See the proposal by CPUC here.
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