Texas - Support HB 3535 and SB 1152 | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

Texas - Support HB 3535 and SB 1152

April 29, 2019

Texas House of Representatives
State Capitol
Austin, TX 78701

Dear Representative,

I understand that you will shortly be voting on both HB 3535 and SB 1152, legislation that would ensure a fair system of taxation for telecommunications providers. On behalf of the 148,867 members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) in Texas, I urge you to support HB 3535/SB 1152, which would enhance Texas’s position as a leading state in technology and telecommunications.

Under the current outdated and duplicative laws, communications providers are required to pay twice for the same line installed within a city’s right-of-way if both telephone calls and video content are sent over the same line. Even though the impact on the city’s right-of-way is unaffected, the provider’s costs increase. This burdensome duplicative taxation results in higher prices for all consumers in Texas.

HB 3535/SB 1152 would end this unfair practice and streamline the taxes that telecommunications providers pay, resulting in increased competition, more options, and lower prices for consumers. Rather than eliminating the tax altogether, the legislation would require providers to pay the higher of the two taxes, thereby ensuring that cities across Texas continue to receive fair compensation for use of their rights-of-way.

HB 3535/SB 1152 represent sound policy that removes unnecessary taxes, ensures fair treatment of businesses, and reduces the heavy hand of government to the benefit of consumers. I urge you to support this legislation.

Sincerely,

Tom Schatz
President, CCAGW

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