Ohio, New York to VoIP users: we wanna tax you, sucker!!

In the previouspost, I've broughtyou up to date on newly filed objections by New York and Ohio to FCC VoIP regulatory authority.When governments do something, there usually are political realities at play.

In the previouspost, I've broughtyou up to date on newly filed objections by New York and Ohio to FCC VoIP regulatory authority.

When governments do something, there usually are political realities at play. Let me, then,give you my analysis.

Not only are allfour states that have objected so far to the Vonage ruling under severe budgetary pressure. Each state has a Republican Governor.

If you look at state-level party politics across the nation, Republicans areoften perceived as being less tax-friendly than Democrats.Combine that with theproven statistic that on average, property-owners and those with higher incomes are more likely to vote Republican, and more low-income renters, Democratic. That often makes Republicans very cautious about ticking offtheir supporters by raising property, income and sales taxes. In most states, these avenues are the most important revenue-generators.

Many Republicans, then,thus find themselves boxed in when they want to raise taxes. So they have to find taxes to raise that will: not offend large numbers of their core constituencies, while raising needed income.

That's whystates and cities tax hotel rooms.Because hotels appeal to business and leisure travelers, it is unlikely hotel guests will be registered to vote in the jurisdiction that enacted the tax.

And for VoIP, well, put it this way. Property owners, developers and Realtorsare organized intokeylobbying blocs. VoIP customers are not.

Not yet, anyway.

So face it. We are an easy mark.That's the real reason why California, Ohio, Minnesota and New York want some authority over VoIP. They want to tax you for using it.

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