AFP-MI: Telecomm Bill Aims to Soak Cell Phone Customers for Corporate Subsidies

December 10, 2013

Grassroots group opposes diverting more dollars to Michigan Access Restructuring Fund

 LANSING, Mich.—Americans for Prosperity-Michigan today voiced its opposition to a key provision contained in SB 636, the so-called landline bill. Specifically, the grassroots group cited its opposition to diverting an additional $20 million dollars to the Michigan Access Restructuring Fund at the expense of mostly wireless phone customers.

“It is just wrong to redistribute dollars from wireless phone customers to large telecommunications companies in the form of government-allocated subsidies,” Scott Hagerstrom, state director of Americans for Prosperity-Michigan, wrote in a letter to members of the House Energy and Technology Committee. “While the goal of making the transition to VoIP service is laudable, private carriers should be footing the bill not wireless customers through an unfair tax on their phone bills.”

According to AFP-Michigan, Senate Bill 636 doubles down on a flawed model by siphoning off an additional $20 million from customers to be routed through Michigan’s Access Restructuring Mechanism. Hagerstrom noted that the system in effect takes money from wireless phone customers and gives it to large telecommunications companies that are more than capable of covering the cost of transitioning to VoIP.

“To add insult to injury, the companies that appear to benefit the most from these subsidies are not even based in Michigan and have billions in operating revenue. In other words, they are more than capable of funding the transition,” Hagerstrom concluded. “This legislation warrants further discussion and scrutiny for our elected officials.”

Americans for Prosperity-Michigan is a statewide organization of more than 87,000 activists committed to strengthening our constitutional government, establishing fiscal restraint, and giving taxpayers greater control over government. We are dedicated to recruiting, training, educating and motivating grassroots activists to be effective in their own communities. Americans for Prosperity does not support or oppose candidates for public office.

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