"It's cheaper and I don't have any hidden fees," Johnson said. "If my service gets cut off, it doesn't affect my credit."
Even with the allure of prepaid cellular services, which typically cost around
The new measure is an amendment of two sections in state law, which previously defined prepaid wireless service as having a tangible telephone calling card or authorization number.
Under the new bill, prepaid wireless service is subject to sales tax regardless of whether or not it uses cards or authorization numbers. Prepaid phone services have been a common form of cellular service for some time, however when the original law was drafted in 1997, services such as texting and wireless Internet access had not been considered.
Johnson, who works at
"That's just going to make it harder for people to pay," she said. "I'm not about to pay for something that I hadn't paid for before. I'm already hurting to pay and I work two jobs."
The decision to update the law comes after
"Not once did the state update the law since it originally passed in 1997," Pridgen said. "What they are taxing today did not even exist in 1997."
The bill's proponents claim that the decision to include intangible prepaid services, such as minutes or downloads, was simply an effort to clarify what could be taxed. Rep.
"If a product is being sold, everybody that is purchasing it should be taxed equally," said Poole. "This was not about revenue generation. This was an effort to avoid court confusion over an inadequate statute."
Though Poole feels that the new revisions will clear up any existing confusion over prepaid phone sales tax, there seems to be confusion among his committee members as to what the primary motivation behind the revision was.
"It was proposing something that wasn't taxed before," he said. "I don't know of any underlying reason it was taxed other than generating revenue."
Regardless of the inconsistencies among
"Broadly put, the tax system in this state is upside down,"
No lawmakers voted against the bill, though 14 voted "pass," and one legislator abstained. Gov.
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