Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: March 10, 2010
Sen. Joe Sweeden
Sweeden: Corporation Commission’s New Proposal is
a Hidden Tax
Joe Sweeden on Tuesday said a proposal currently being considered
by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission is a hidden tax that would
obligate all telephone customers in the state to pay an additional
fee for every phone line they have.
The proposal would make all in-state calls in Oklahoma toll-free,
but all customers would be expected to pay an estimated monthly
fee of $3.19 for each of their phone lines.
“The Commission has billed this as a statewide toll-free
calling program, but upon closer inspection it certainly isn’t
free,” said Sweeden, D-Pawhuska. “This is effectively
an attempt to pass a hidden tax on all monthly telephone bills.
I’m shocked that the Commission is seriously considering this
proposal at a time when Oklahoma families are struggling through
a tough economy.”
Sweeden said the proposal mandates an across-the-board fee, regardless
of whether they make long-distance calls or not. Sweeden noted regulators
have also estimated that telephone service carriers could also lose
as much as $118 million if the plan is enacted.
“Many Oklahomans have free long distance on their cellular
phone plans, but will still be forced to pay an additional fee under
this proposal,” Sweeden said. “This is no time for new
taxes, and the fact that this has been veiled as a free-calling
proposal is particularly reprehensible. I’m encouraging members
of the Commission to drop this proposal.”
more information contact:
Sen. Sweeden: 405-521-5581