Reach out and tax someone
Old taxes never die, they just get bigger. In 2003 the state imposed a tax on cell phones to upgrade the 911 system to be able to pinpoint 911 cell phone calls. When the upgrades were done, the state under Governor Doyle kept the $20,000,000 in “leftover” money. (Nothing says home cookin’ the books like “leftovers.”)
Now Governor Doyle wants to increase the tax. According to Americans for Tax Reform:
…Gov. Doyle has now proposed extending the cell phone tax, raising it by 75-cents, and then making it applicable to all landlines as well. Oh, then he would then add another 56-cent tax to cell phones for the state’s Universal Service Fund, which has nothing to do with cell phone usage. All told, the proposal amounts to a $100 million per year tax increase on cell phone users.
Maybe on the two-hundredth anniversary of the Spanish-American War we’ll be able to get rid of this phone tax, too.
Update! Just caught this from the MacIver Institute:
Doyle’s proposal to divert 911 surcharge would make Wisconsin ineligible for federal 911 grants
By Matthew DeFour Wisconsin State Journal May 22, 2009
Gov. Jim Doyle’s proposal to divert $100 million from a 911 surcharge to funding for local governments would make the state ineligible for federal 911 grants and remove an existing surcharge that saves 911 centers $7 million a year.
Remember the hospital tax (also going up) was to get more money from the feds but a tax on phone calls will result in less money from the feds. Heckuva job, Jimmy.
You gotta Ma-Ma-Ma Belle, or I will get you
You know you gotta Ma-Ma-Ma Belle, before I get you