California considers a texting tax

Cell phone owners in California could soon pay extra for the privilege of sending text messages, thanks to landline-era legislation and changing usage patterns. According to recent public law filings, the state’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is considering a plan that would bill users a monthly fee for any text message services they use, and phone service carriers aren’t happy about it.

Feels not so long ago that SMS became a free element of most cellular plans… and now the government wants to start taxing it? Ugh.

And of course, there’s always the risk that applying such a charge will push consumers away from traditional SMS altogether, which would certainly impact the PUC’s estimated $44.5 million figure, and subsequently the people the charge is meant to help in the first place.

A completely valid concern and definitely a possibility - if people even notice the new charges on their bill. I don’t see anything mentioned about how much the tax could be.