Could local governments see a bump up in taxes collected on telephone lines?

Some employers are requiring their employees to work from home in response to more government stay-in-place policies as the United States grapples with COVID-19 also known as the coronavirus.  Prepping an office for remote work may call on employees to add another line to their home, especially where the employee works with sensitive data or the addition of another line is a requirement of a client.  For example as a precaution I have been using an Ethernet connection at home for the purpose of data stability, faster transmission, and the security of wired connection from node outside the apartment to my desktop in my home office.

I haven’t heard it discussed much with all the attention given to the virus and the slow down in the economy it has created, but I expect along with an uptick in the number of additional lines at home should come an uptick in telecommunications taxes collected by local governments.

In Baltimore, as an example, Article 28, Section 25-2, imposes a tax “on each person who leases, licenses, or sells a telecommunications line to any customer: (1) for wired service whose billing address or fixed service address is in the City;  or (2) for wireless service, whose place of primary use is in the City.”

Article 28, Section 25-3 assesses a charge of $4.00 per month or any part of a month for any wired or wireless line.

Can’t say how much, but the stay-in-place policy may be a positive for local government’s telecom tax coffers.



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