There is more than one problem with this legislation at first reading. A 20% tax increase while the Legislature has still refused to address tax exemptions, is disheartening. (A telephone tax is somewhat of a hidden tax.) From the Palm Beach Post:
[Mike]Haridpolos, R-Melbourne, has sponsored a bill that would subject business and residential telephone customers to 20 percent rate increases within a year, according to an analysis of the measure.
Haridopolos’ sweeping telecom reform proposal (SB 2626) would also weaken the authority of the Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities, over telephone companies. For example, it would do away with the commission’s ability to resolve service quality complaints, according to the commission’s analysis of the bill.
The measure would also do away with protections from price increases for Lifeline, a program designed to ensure that poor people can have telephone service.
And it would do away with caps on operator service fees. “Without a cap it is not clear that a reasonable rate will be available,” the analysis reads.