Cell Phones Ring Up Higher State Tax
"You do pay the bill because you do want the service and have to use it," said John Ward, cell phone user.
"The cell phone customers will pay the same business licence fee that any telephone customer would use," explained Richard Sheets of the Missouri Municipal League.
The cell phone company used to pay that business license fee but the legislation shifted it to customers.
"House Bill 209 allowed the telephone companies to directly pass that on to the consumer. Cell phone users will pay no more than a 5% tax, but taxes add up," said Sheets.
It's hard to figure the average increase in individual bills because they vary from city to city. If half of Columbia residents paid a $40-per-month cell phone bill, that would generate $2 million. Now, with this new tax involved, they are going to have to pay an extra $100,000 a month instead of the cell phone companies.
The Missouri Municipal League is working with several cities across the state to overturn the law, even threatening to take their case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.