California Assembly Democrats Kill Bill That Would Prevent Tax on Text Messages


Last week, California Assembly Democrats killed a bill that would 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).

After an 8-0 vote in committee, the Bill failed on the Assembly Floor in a 37-16 vote with 27 No Votes on Record.

The goal of Assembly Bill 162 was to keep text messages tax free according to Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin).

In January, Kiley said the following:

“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“While I am glad that the CPUC has withdrawn its proposal — for now — it is important that the Legislature act to prevent the agency from imposing any Text Tax in the future,” Kiley said.

Locally, Assemblymembers were split on the bill: Rebecca Bauer-Kahan and Tim Grayson supported the bill, while Jim Frazier and Buffy Wicks opposed it.

How the Voted:

05/09/19(FAIL)Assembly Floor371627AB 162 Kiley Assembly Third Reading
Ayes: Bauer-Kahan, Bigelow, Boerner Horvath, Brough, Carrillo, Cervantes, Chau, Choi, Cooley, Cunningham, Daly, Diep, Flora, Fong, Gallagher, Eduardo Garcia, Gloria, Gray, Grayson, Holden, Kiley, Lackey, Maienschein, Mathis, Mayes, Melendez, Mullin, Obernolte, O’Donnell, Patterson, Petrie-Norris, Quirk-Silva, Robert Rivas, Salas, Voepel, Waldron, Rendon
Noes: Aguiar-Curry, Bloom, Burke, Frazier, Gipson, Irwin, Jones-Sawyer, Kalra, Levine, Low, Medina, Ramos, Rodriguez, Mark Stone, Ting, Wicks
No Votes Recorded: Arambula, Berman, Bonta, Calderon, Chen, Chiu, Chu, Cooper, Dahle, Eggman, Friedman, Gabriel, Cristina Garcia, Gonzalez, Kamlager-Dove, Limón, McCarty, Muratsuchi, Nazarian, Quirk, Reyes, Luz Rivas, Blanca Rubio, Santiago, Smith, Weber, Wood


  1. We might have to register our phones out of state. Same as many people do to their vehicles to prevent from paying obscene fees on them.

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