In our quest for 'more efficient' government (which does not mean 'privitize'), comes this completely weird story
3 Percent Fee On Cell Phones Started 107 Years Ago
Call To Repeal Tax Under Way
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- There is a call to repeal a cell phone tax most people probably don't even know they are paying, NewsChannel5 partner ONN reported.
Anybody who has ever tried to decipher a cell phone bill knows how tough it can be. One of the charges is a 3 percent fee on every cell phone bill in America. The origin of the tax predates the invention of the cellular phone by nearly a century.
Annie Brinkman and her friend, Stacey Lemle, don't know it, but every time they use their cell phones, they are supporting the war effort -- the Spanish-American War.
The 1898 war involved Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders.
The fee began as a luxury tax on phones at the turn of the 19th Century. And we're all still paying for it today.
Phone bills don’t specify that the tax originates from the Spanish-American War. It is labeled as the federal excise tax, which amounts to 3 percent of every monthly bill.
"When you say it's a federal excise tax, you know, most of the time, oh it's the federal excise tax," said Laura Merritt of Verizon Wireless. "And that's just understood that it's a tax you pay. Where exactly those funds go is something that's a mystery to all of us."
It's not such a mystery anymore. And now, at least three federal courts have ruled the tax illegal. Many cell phone companies support a repeal of that tax. But they say they are caught in the middle.
"We're required to continue collecting that tax from our customers until the IRS tells us to stop doing that," said Merritt.
Some lawmakers are demanding cell phone companies stop collecting the tax and refund three years worth of fees.
But for now, every time you make a cell phone call, you'll continue to pay for a war fought more than 107 years ago.
As opposed to using your cell phone and not supporting the current war because today's Republicans think you can finance multiple wars while repealing taxes. Though you have to wonder how people will react when a tax is specifically designed to support a war...
According to the Web site www.mywireless.org, you can ask the IRS for a refund of up to three years of past taxes. You can also contact members of Congress to ask them to repeal the tax altogether.
Yeah, you can ask... but that may just get you labeled as a 'trouble maker' and who needs that at tax time.
(thanks to Gizmodo
for the story!)