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Letter to the Editor: Telecom bill is practical solution

Sunday, June 12, 2005

To the editor;

Among the many important pieces of legislation passed in this year's legislative session is House Bill 209, which clarifies the taxation of wireless telephone services.

Through commonsense compromise, legislators worked to protect consumers from unbridled taxes -- sometimes as high as 11 percent -- while preserving local revenue for a community's vital services.

HB 209 creates a fair tax system that addresses the changing nature of the communications industry and ends costly litigation that threatened to result in higher taxes.

The bill reduces high telephone taxes and replaces them with a lower, broad-based tax on both telephone and wireless services.

Left unchanged, the current law would have allowed cities to propose wireless taxes without limitation. HB 209 caps these taxes at 5 percent. It's likely most of these taxes will be held even lower.

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry is confident that Missouri communities will reap the benefits of this legislation in the years ahead, and consumer will avoid large spikes that could result from pending lawsuits.

I commend lawmakers for finding this solution to a very real problem.

DANIEL P. MEHAN, President/CEO,

Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Jefferson City, Mo.