RIED opposes any permanent increase in taxes or fees to pay for a one-time revenue need, in this case an upgrade to 911 infrastructure. HB 1590 by Rep. Grego and Sen. Murdock imposes a 67% tax hike on the on all telephone lines in the state (including mobile phones), raising the 911 service fee from 75 cents to $1.25 monthly. The increased fees are intended to pay for Next Generation 911 technology statewide. The cost to upgrade the 911 system is a one-time $10 million investment, but the increase in fee is perpetual. Per year, each line will be taxed $15 instead of the current $9. This tax increase will, in aggregate, add up to a large withdrawal of capital out of the state’s economy, produce far more revenue than is needed to accomplish the bill’s stated purpose, and exacerbate the regressivity of per line wireless taxes. Without the increase, Oklahoma ranks 13th highest wireless per line fees in State and Local Taxes, Fees and Surcharges Paid on a Single Wireless Plan (July 2022) paying $3.35 per line per month. HB 1590, if all other fees and taxes remain the same, would put Oklahoma in the Top Ten highest fees, taxes or surcharges paid per wireless line ($3.85 per line per month). For these reasons, RIED rates HB 1590 as Anti-Growth.
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