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2013 House Bill 1971: Revising funding for and taxation of communications services
  1. Introduced by Rep. Reuven Carlyle (Seattle) (D) on February 27, 2013, requires sellers of prepaid wireless telecommunications services to collect state and county 911 excise taxes. This act changes funding for the Washington telephone assistance program from an excise tax on all switched access lines to general fund appropriations. This act changes funding for the telecommunications relay service and equipment distribution program from an excise tax applied to each switched access line provided by the local exchange companies, to general fund appropriations. This act clarifies retroactively the residential telephone service sales tax exemption; allows fixed interconnected voice over internet protocol telecommunications service to qualify for the residential telephone service exemption for periods prior to the implementation of this act; and prospectively eliminates the sale tax exemptions for residential telephone service, coin-operated telephone service, and mobile telecommunications services provided to out of state customers.
    • Referred to the House Finance Committee on February 27, 2013.
      • Substitute offered in the House on March 29, 2013, eliminates the requirement that the state Program be implemented through a third-party administrator. It also requires the UTC to report back to the Legislature by December 1, 2017, as to the adequacy of funding under the Program and the potential impacts on carriers and customers when the Program terminates. The substitute bill specifies that state universal service funds can be used for broadband services. It also adds intent language related to the Program and makes a number of nonsubstantive, technical corrections.
    • Referred to the House Appropriations Committee on April 3, 2013.
    • Referred to the House Rules Committee on April 9, 2013.
      • Amendment offered by Rep. Reuven Carlyle (Seattle) (D) on April 16, 2013, provides that a cable VoIP provider does not have to be directly subject to a local franchise fee, but must be affiliated with a company subject to a franchise fee. The amendment passed by voice vote in the House on April 16, 2013.
      • Amendment offered by Rep. Terry Nealey (Dayton) (R) on April 16, 2013, includes only access lines or equivalents located in Washington in the 40,000 access line or equivalent calculation. Eliminates the authority of the UTC to adopt rules with respect to broadband services for any provider receiving the new distributions. The amendment passed by voice vote in the House on April 16, 2013.
      • Amendment offered by Rep. J.T. Wilcox (Yelm) (R) on April 16, 2013, allows retailers to charge an additional five cents for each retail sale of prepaid wireless to compensate for the costs of administering the tax for five years. Changes the effective date for the provisions of the bill relating to prepaid wireless to January 1, 2014. The amendment passed by voice vote in the House on April 16, 2013.
  2. Passed 74 to 22 in the House on April 16, 2013, requires retailers of prepaid wireless telephone service to collect and remit the Enhanced 911 tax. Allows a seller of prepaid wireless to charge an additional 5 cents per retail transaction to offset the cost of collecting the tax. Repeals the taxes funding the Washington Telephone Assistance and Telecommunications Relay Service programs and requires the programs to be funded by State General Fund appropriations. Repeals the state and local sales and use tax exemption for local residential landline service. Establishes a temporary state universal communications services program.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  3. Received in the Senate on April 18, 2013.
    • Referred to the Senate Ways & Means Committee on April 18, 2013.
    • Referred to the House Rules Committee on April 28, 2013.
  4. Received in the House on May 13, 2013.
  5. Passed 74 to 18 in the House on June 6, 2013, requires retailers of prepaid wireless telephone service to collect and remit the Enhanced 911 tax. Allows a seller of prepaid wireless to charge an additional 5 cents per retail transaction to offset the cost of collecting the tax. Repeals the taxes funding the Washington Telephone Assistance and Telecommunications Relay Service programs and requires the programs to be funded by State General Fund appropriations. Repeals the state and local sales and use tax exemption for local residential landline service. Establishes a temporary state universal communications services program.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  6. Received in the Senate on June 8, 2013.
    • Referred to the Senate Ways & Means Committee on June 8, 2013.
    • Referred to the House Rules Committee on June 11, 2013.
  7. Received in the House on June 27, 2013.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Reuven Carlyle (Seattle) (D) on June 27, 2013, adds an emergency clause in order for Part I to be effective August 1, 2013.. The amendment passed by voice vote in the House on June 27, 2013.
  8. Passed 77 to 15 in the House on June 27, 2013, requires retailers of prepaid wireless telephone service to collect and remit the Enhanced 911 tax. Allows a seller of prepaid wireless to charge an additional 5 cents per retail transaction to offset the cost of collecting the tax. Repeals the taxes funding the Washington Telephone Assistance and Telecommunications Relay Service programs and requires the programs to be funded by State General Fund appropriations. Repeals the state and local sales and use tax exemption for local residential landline service. Establishes a temporary state universal communications services program.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  9. Received in the Senate on June 28, 2013.
  10. Passed 36 to 11 in the Senate on June 28, 2013, repeals the state and local sales and use tax exemption for local residential landline service. It also requires retailers of prepaid wireless telephone service to collect and remit the Enhanced 911 tax. and allows a seller of prepaid wireless to charge an additional 5 cents per retail transaction to offset the cost of collecting the tax. The bill also repeals the taxes funding the Washington Telephone Assistance and Telecommunications Relay Service programs and requires the programs to be funded by State General Fund appropriations, and it establishes a temporary state universal communications services program. The bill has passed both houses of the legislature and has been delivered to the Governor.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

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