Council for Citizens Against Government Waste Testifies Before Texas State House Committee in Support of HB 3535 | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

Council for Citizens Against Government Waste Testifies Before Texas State House Committee in Support of HB 3535

Press Release

For Immediate Release
Contact: Curtis Kalin 202-467-5318

April 2, 2019

(Washington, D.C.) – Yesterday evening, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) Director of Technology and Telecommunications Policy Deborah Collier testified before the Texas House Committee on State Affairs in support of HB 3535.  The bill would modernize communications rights-of-way, eliminate duplicative taxes, and help provide Texans with the next generation of communications capabilities.

The testimony reads, in part:

“On behalf of CCAGW and its 148,747 members and supporters in the state of Texas, I speak in support of passage of HB 3535, which will allow Texas to continue its leadership in providing its residents with next generation communications capabilities.  The bill gives communications providers the ability to offer internet, telephone, and video services through a single line, without incurring duplicative or excessive taxes and fees. 

“Under current Texas law, telecommunications providers are required to pay twice for the same lines installed within the rights-of-way if both telephone and video services are provided through the same line.  Providers must pay up to 6 percent of their gross revenues as a franchise fee in each city they serve to provide video service to Texas, in addition to the voice service fees imposed by municipalities for access to their right of way.  The cost of these duplicative taxes is passed onto the consumers in the form of higher monthly bills. 

“HB 3535 will modernize communications rights-of-way law by eliminating duplicative taxes when a single line in the right-of-way is used for multiple purposes.  This bill will still permit cities to charge for access to the rights-of-way, but rather than a separate fee for the video and voice services, providers will elect to pay the higher of the two fees in each local jurisdiction, thereby eliminating the duplicative tax.”

The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste, the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.

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