text messaging

California is considering a proposal to charge a text messaging fee to fund social programs that make mobile phone service accessible to low-income residents.

The California Public Utilities Commission is scheduled to vote on the controversial proposal next month, according to Fox News.

Cell phone owners are understandably upset about the proposal to tax text messages. The charges would impact heavy users who send thousands of text messages a month.

The Commission is also considering applying the charges retroactively to messages sent in the past 5 years. That means consumers could be hit with hundreds of dollars in fees for text messages they sent 5 years ago.

The state tax would be costly for teenagers and young adults who use text messaging more than any other mode of communication. Some teens send 1,500 to 3,000 text messages a month.

"It's a dumb idea," Jim Wunderman, president of the Bay Area Council business group, told the San Jose Mercury News. "This is how conversations take place in this day and age, and it's almost like saying there should be a tax on the conversations we have."

While the amount the Commission will charge for texts isn't clear, some business groups are saying the new fees could cost wireless users more than $44 million a year, FOX11 Los Angeles reported.

Rufus Jeffress, Vice President of the Bay Area Council, told KNTV-TV the new proposal sets an "alarming precedent" and could cost California residents more than $220 million, the Mercury News reported.

The Wireless industry argues that the fees would put carriers at a disadvantage since competing messaging services such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger would not be charged the new fees, FOX11 reported.

Residents are fed up with high taxes in California. A tax on text messaging is not welcome news to residents who are already burdened with the high cost of living.

"To have them charge us something else is just dumb," a Bay Area resident told KNTV. "I think it's very unfair, especially for the people that can barely pay for their cell phone plan already."

Photo by Hero Images/Getty Images

  • Megbabe

    Wow I can’t afford to live or Text in Cali! ??

  • Jordan’s Memory

    Hell No! That would be insane!!!!!!

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1lo6u-UIbo Nancy Drew-Natural & Luv’n It!

    Retroactive charges though?! FOH!

  • Tiff J

    How would this even work? Everyone ALREADY PAYS for text messaging as part of their cell plan. This is dumb cause everyone will just find a work around and use free texting apps and the gov't won't make it's money.

  • Whirl

    First net neutrality gets demolished and now this. Not cool Cali, not cool.

  • KLove

    Well, it's California, what do you expect? They have run out of other people's money to spend, so now they have to find something else to tax.

  • ohdearme

    Well this is the dumbest thing I've ever heard. I'm all for helping the low income people and the downright poor but guess what, not everyone needs a cell phone, PERIOD! If you have a roof over your head and food to eat, those are things that you NEED! Making residents pay to ensure that they have a cell phone is a total abuse of power.

  • Tlowe89

    Man f that if I lived there I would be calling auntie that lived in another state and asking if I could use her address.

  • Phillybruh

    That's gotta be the stupidest thing ever

  • ClaireHuxtable

    I don't think this will fly. Too many people use it as their primary means of communication.
    And how are you gonna retroactively charge somebody for something?! They would have used it less had they known they were being taxed.
    *mutters*People be trippin...

  • smartchickfl

    Stupid.

  • FukkFolks2018

    I dont see this getting approved.

  • Yvonne79

    Fire whoever came up with this dumb idea!!!

  • Navybeans95

    Well I barley talk or text so I'm good...but more tax?...any kind of way to make their pockets fatter...smh..

  • pure_rachet

    people on food stamps already get a free smart phone and free service in Cali. They shouldn't have made this a thing if they weren't able to pay for it.

  • sunni_daze

    And in Maryland.

  • sunni_daze

    How are they charging for that cell companies give for free. Always a money grab and I highly doubt this money will go to the right place.

  • bella28498 .

    Sounds like they are doing this for the illegal immigrants.

  • nick c

    Cali is a one party state whatever the state wants it will pass.

  • Blue

    Wow

  • GuestSTAR

    Its ridiculous, we pay a tax to breath here, SMDH. We already pay state, local, federal, city, county, property and a car tax. PLUS, almost $4 a gallon for gas. I've lived in Cali my entire life, but I can't wait to move. Selling (cashing out) my home next year and buying in a another state where I can live comfortably with less taxation.

  • http://bitchbecomesher.com Tasha Nicole

    I'm so glad that I left California. Taxed to death out west

  • Gail

    If this goes through, Kamala Harris can forget about being on the Democratic ticket.

  • Renee26

    Not going to happen...why....because it would affect too many yt pepo

  • CookieMobster

    This!! If they can't afford a cell phone they don't need it. Cut that mess out. Get a job stop having babies you can't afford and maybe you can afford a cell phone.

  • ShelbyMoore

    They simple solution to this situation in reinstall phone booths and use that to fund the "social programs." Bullshat.

  • http://batman-news.com Roderick2011

    why?
    She's part of the federal government not the state.

  • Coco Mcluvin

    When can the working class benefit from some of these programs? A good paying job isn't even a good paying job when you factor in all of the fees, taxes, insurances, etc., smh...something's gotta give!

  • Trace da Ace

    yeah this is a dumb idea....dont see it going nowhere,....

  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920

    I will stop texting.
    I had paid texting before. Too much money .
    This will force mew to call & interact differently with folks. Cause I ain't paying.

  • Shannypoo1976

    I'm telling you....

  • Wreckognize Game

    If my carrier tried this there would be some people that I would never communicate with because I don't want to talk in the first place. I shut down Facebook because I don't want to subliminally communicate either.

  • Kanyade

    why text via phone when you can "text" via facebook, instagram, and/or twitter? snapchat?

  • Reenaface

    Welp! It looks like I'll be using Morse codes and smoke signals to let my boss know when I'm late to work. I barely text or call anyone.

  • Whirl

    That’s why I leave all my options open. I generally vote a straight democrat ticket but LOCALLY if they start talking that tax this tax that talk I cross over and vote republican. But nowadays people got to pay real close attention since the new type of republicans like to spend spend spend. Look at the president looking for 5 billion for a stupid wall after he already blew the roof on the budget and deficit.

  • noluvlost

    Every one doesn't believe in social sites. I personal have none of the above. I get just enough drama from media sites and there comment sections.

  • noluvlost

    Time repeating itself. Didn't we go through this in the 90s and early 2000s? .10 to .25 cents per text.. no thanks

  • Rahab

    Where is Dub with the Stevie braille. ?

  • PlayerP

    Who came up with this bright idea??? And to make it retro active five years??? This sounds made up...cuz there is no way most folks could even afford to think about paying such fees like this let alone actually pay them. Impose this silliness on the big social media platforms, not for something that has become necessity.

  • SpiceGirl

    Who TF came up with this shet???

  • ?jessica?

    ?........... California need to stop.

  • MSGREENMINUSTHEENVY

    Right!

  • SpiceGirl

    This mess just sounds crazy

  • Prince Zuko

    Cali be going in

  • Readytochokemothernatureout

    Time to pull out the cans and strang in a minute sheesh....

  • Logan Roberts

    Please keep this in Cali. I already have enough bills as it is now.

  • Dainese

    If my cellular company ain't chargin', State need mind their business. Dont pull this in Texas. People gonna start shootin'.

  • Blak

    This has to be fake news

  • ALLMINE?

    Socialists

  • ALLMINE?

    I don't have it neither