GRANITE BAY – Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) introduced legislation Monday to statutorily prohibit the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) from taxing text messages or any other technology classified as an “information service” by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Joining him as coauthors for AB-162 are Assemblymembers Jordan Cunningham, Tyler Diep, Vince Fong, James Gallagher, Tom Lackey, Melissa Melendez, and Jim Patterson.
The CPUC’s proposal to add a surcharge to text messages was set to be considered in January 2019 before the FCC issued a declaratory ruling classifying text messages as an “information service.” While the CPUC has authority over the regulation of telecommunications services, this legislation will explicitly prohibit surcharges on information services under state law.
“Text messaging is integral to modern communication, especially for young people, and should remain tax free,” Kiley said. “Government policies have already made California unaffordable for far too many, and becoming the first state in the nation to tax texting would only make things worse.”
“While I am glad that the CPUC has withdrawn its proposal — for now — it is important that the Legislature act to prevent the agency from imposing any Text Tax in the future,” Kiley said.
Assemblyman Kevin Kiley represents the 6th Assembly District, which includes the Sacramento, Placer, and El Dorado County communities of Cameron Park, El Dorado Hills, Fair Oaks, Folsom, Granite Bay, Lincoln, Loomis, Orangevale, Penryn, Rocklin, Roseville, and Sheridan.