California abandons plans to tax text messages

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SAN FRANCISCO, California - If the popular saying, "As California goes, so goes the country," holds true, that will be good news for people who don't want a tax on text messages.

California regulators were hoping to tax text messages, until a recent ruling from the FCC.

The FCC says text messages are an "information service" - not a "telecommunications service."

The state of California wanted to add new monthly fees onto wireless customers' bills to increase funds for programs that bring connectivity to underserved residents. Those programs include 911 services and equipment for deaf users, according to the California Public Utilities Commission.

The tax would not have been per text, but instead a flat rate based on the bill.

The CPUC withdrew its text tax proposal following the FCC ruling.

The ruling means states have a limited authority over texting.

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