Chicago, IL, Mar. 4 (UPI) -- A case making its way through the courts may determine whether mobile-phone users pay onerous local taxes -- or receive future wireless bills up to 20 percent less expensive than they are today.
Late last fall, the major wireless carriers T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, Sprint and Cingular began administrative proceedings seeking to have local mobile-phone taxes refunded by the City of Baltimore and by Montgomery County, Md., in suburban Washington, D.C. Both municipal governments denied the requests for refunds, so the companies have now sued them in state tax court, seeking to have the wireless taxes declared illegal, and to have the money refunded to customers.
"We filed four cases in the Maryland Tax Court on Feb. 14 against the City of Baltimore," said Kenneth Silverberg, a partner in the law firm Nixon Peabody LLP. "One for each of the wireless carriers. I've just been in touch with the city attorney for Baltimore. They are going to file a motion to consolidate the cases. We're just now preparing to file four more cases against Montgomery County and will include a motion to consolidate all four of those cases with the Baltimore case." By Gene Koprowski