Need to pay Smartphone users in the U.S. state of California soon taxes for a service that hardly anyone uses? The Supervisory authority of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) proposed, in any case, has to pay tax on classic short news. SMS to rinse more money in the state Treasury. To pay the mobile phone users. With the money of the poorer citizens should be given the Chance to the mobile network access.

Settled the tax according to the 52-page CPUC report (PDF) per SMS, but as a share of a monthly fee, the charge mobile operators, mostly in the Form of a flat rate for short messages. Up to five years retroactively, the authority wants to collect the taxes. The CPUC, in addition to water and energy supply is also responsible for the telephone provider in the state of California, will on the 10. January about the plans to vote.

The rationale for the tax: The national revenue from the telecommunications industry had been declining for years. The state took accordingly, in the year 2011, more than 16 billion dollars. In the year 2017, this amount had fallen to slightly more than 11 billion euros. The financial support for socially vulnerable citizens, by contrast, was increased in the same time from 670 to 998 million dollars. “This is not sustainable,” says the document.

critics doubt the SMS control. “This is a stupid idea,” said Jim Wunderman from the California business Association Bay Area Council of the newspaper “The Mercury News”. Text message, the modern means of communication. “It is so, as you would call for a tax on the conversations that we lead.”

tax to a discontinued model

Also, a decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Telecommunications regulators in the United States, could the SMS control plans. On Wednesday, the authority ruled that text messages will apply in the future, such as your E-mail as an information service and not as a telephone service. According to trade Association CTIA California to a SMS could not collect tax without the permission of the Federal authority and FCC.

Whimsical of the plans is that, of all things, to text messages, a tax is levied. Classic SMS is a discontinued model. In Germany, for example, the number of SMS sent to shrinks, according to Statista for years extremely. While in 2012, 60 billion, classic short sent messages annually, in 2017, will have only ten billion.

messages are now sent, especially for free Internet-based messengers such as WhatsApp, Telegram and Threema, as well as on Facebook and Instagram. Also, Apple’s iMessages work. For this, the users only need to have the volume of data. All these text Alternatives would not be affected by the tax.


Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.