Nebraska is choosing the flat tax…for your phone bill, that is. The state will be changing how it assigns the amount of money it feels entitled to take from you for the “privilege’ of using your phone. It will no longer be based on the percentage of your total bill, but a simple flat fee for each phone.
If you choose to read the full coverage from a news outlet (excerpted below), you will note the matter-of-fact manner in which a story about the ‘taxation’ of the use of a phone was written. There is no fundamental questioning of the power of a government to arbitrarily decide on what basis it will ‘justify’ taking more money for you. This, in part, is why we refer to these local media outlets as State media
n a year, you may be getting a little surprise on your phone bill.
A state agency has ordered changes in the way fees are paid by users of cellphones and other telephones to finance communication improvements in rural areas.
Instead of being assessed a fee based on the amount of your phone bill — now 6.95 percent — there will be an as-yet-determined flat fee for every phone connection you have in your home or business.
Officials with the Nebraska Public Service Commission say that it is too soon to predict the impact on individual phone bills because the amount of the new connection fee hasn’t been set and will be studied over the next year.
One of the five members of the Public Service Commission predicted that the new fee won’t inspire a tax revolt.
“It’s going to be a change, but not a sticker shock change,” said Frank Landis of Lincoln.