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AT&T Charges Customers to Recoup Cost of Tax It Never Paid

Phillip Dampier October 14, 2019 AT&T, Consumer News, Public Policy & Gov't No Comments

AT&T customers in Portland, Ore. discovered their cell phone bills increased this summer because the wireless company decided to pass along the costs of Portland’s Clean Energy Tax to its customers. Except AT&T is exempt from paying the tax, but wants customers to pay to recoup costs the phone company is not paying.

Portland’s Revenue Bureau told Willamette Week it classifies cell phone providers as utilities, and they are exempt from the tax.

Scott Karter, a manager in the Revenue Bureau, said it was up to AT&T to decide if it will refund customers for the charges it has collected since August.

“The code does not specifically address amounts that might be over-collected from customers,” Karter said.

AT&T had no comment.

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  • Scott: Too Long Didn't Read. Nor the other 10 walls of text copy and pasted in every other AT&T/Verizon post....
  • Scott: Got to love Analysts stating the obvious, “[Cable companies] may have an incentive to charge for bandwidth in such a way as to raise the costs to cons...
  • Steevo: Philip, For those wireline companies to stay in business here is what they must do: 1. Realize that in past years phone was a public utility, ...
  • Phillip Dampier: I am here in Rochester. From what I have heard, people don't have as much trouble with rain/snow fade as long as the dish is properly aimed and kept o...
  • Henry McKelvey: Hello Mr. Dampier, You are correct, WiFi Sucks! that's Why I suggested using a PON based FiOS like system with wireless if necessary. The choice no...
  • Phillip Dampier: Public Wi-Fi has a very mixed history. In my experience, it works best in the press release announcing it and things start to go downhill from there. ...
  • Phillip Dampier: This is the key. Rural and co-op telcos have been quietly replacing their copper infrastructure with fiber for years. On it they sell not only phone s...
  • Henry McKelvey: Hello All, I feel your distress, but Verizon is not going to do anything that does not make them money, real or imagined. Verizon has undergone a c...
  • Phillip Dampier: It is definitely getting more attention in the newspapers. The Attorney General 's statements to the Commission got wide distribution to the media. It...
  • Henry McKelvey: Hello, That is a good idea, and I applaud you for it. Now for the bad news; most local governments have fiber in the ground, but they do not want t...
  • Michael Elling (@Infostack): Phil, are you or Bruce keeping track of which major media channels are picking up this story? Maybe publishing those who do and don't will expand the...
  • txpatriot: When the ILECs shut down their copper networks, consumers won't be the only ones impacted. Competitive telco providers called "CLECs" also rely o...

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