Utility poles, wires to be taxed following state ruling - Senti...

Full story: Sentinel & Enterprise

Cities and towns won the right, for now, to tax telecommunications companies on utility poles and wires in the public way, part of a decision that could be a major windfall for cash-strapped communities ...

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Ken Burgess

Southbridge, MA

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#1
Mar 4, 2008
 
Another Tax to be added to the consumer, as Verizon has stated it will slow down on things like FIOS implementation, and will pass the tax onto the consumer. Taxachussetts lives up to it's name.

Seeing that the telephone poles are to be taxed, does that mean the Electric Companies, Cable Companies will also have to pay a share of the new tax?
JAY

Weston, MA

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#2
Mar 4, 2008
 
I think this is a good decision, if this bill can assist these towns even to the smallest extent then that would be some progress. The telecomunication co's have been able to take advantage of the situation for so long.
retiree

Lowell, MA

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#3
Mar 4, 2008
 
If Verizon can afford 20 million dollar per year bonuses for executives, it can pay its fair share to the cities and towns. This company is the poster child of corporate greed, they would lay off the employees and hire illegals immigrants if they could! Oh yeah Derek sponge bob Conrad sucks
HerrBGone

Corning, NY

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#4
Mar 4, 2008
 
Governor Patrick wants a poll tax?
Reality

United States

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#5
Mar 4, 2008
 
It's the least Verizon can do -- after helping the government spy on US citizens -- to pay the damn taxes on their property like everyone else.
HerrBGone

Corning, NY

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#6
Mar 4, 2008
 
Um, Reality, Verizon is not going to pay this tax. Their customers are. You don't really think a corporation like Verizon will simply absorb the cost and take it from their own bottom line, do you? Of course not! You were just handed a tax increase by the Governor hidden in the guise of a Robin Hood redistribution from an Evil Big Business^TM.
Reality

United States

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#7
Mar 4, 2008
 
HerrBGone wrote:
Um, Reality, Verizon is not going to pay this tax. Their customers are. You don't really think a corporation like Verizon will simply absorb the cost and take it from their own bottom line, do you? Of course not! You were just handed a tax increase by the Governor hidden in the guise of a Robin Hood redistribution from an Evil Big Business^TM.
That is a fallacy.

Verizon might TRY to pass on the entirety of that cost, but I don't need them. I can go without a landline, or I can go with Vonage or Comcast.

Those are my choices as a citizen. If I were taxed directly, my only recourse would be to petition my state rep or to move away.

I like having more choices for phone service much better.
Be real

Manchester, CT

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#8
Mar 4, 2008
 
Hey Reality:
They are talking about all telecommunication companies not just Verizon. So go to Comcast or Vonage and they are going to get you for the additional costs as well.
We pay no matter what way they go.
Reality

United States

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#9
Mar 4, 2008
 
Be real wrote:
Hey Reality:
They are talking about all telecommunication companies not just Verizon. So go to Comcast or Vonage and they are going to get you for the additional costs as well.
We pay no matter what way they go.
You are saying that ALL corporations that offer telco services own the easements for the land lines?

I think you are mistaken.
HerrBGone

Corning, NY

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#10
Mar 4, 2008
 
I dumped Verizon about four years ago and have used Vonage ever since. Vonage requires a high-speed broadband Internet connection. Around here that means Comcast cable broadband since Verizon has blocked Vonage on their DSL service and likely FiOS as well. Apparently they donít want to enable their competition. Comcastís cables are mounted on telephone poles. The Governor just succeeded in getting the poles and other infrastructure added to the tax rolls. That means that my cable broadband bill will be going up even though I am not a direct customer of Verizon.

Isnít that just delightful?

How much would it cost to connect to the internet via cellular modem? What would the service be like and how much would it cost? Not a viable option as far as I can see. How about using a fax machine via cell phone?

You can avoid paying this tax but to do so you will have to give up services and conveniences that we have become accustomed to.

Or you can vote for candidates that understand that Robin Hood taxation hurts the very people they claim to want to help.
Reality

United States

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#11
Mar 4, 2008
 
HerrBGone wrote:
I dumped Verizon about four years ago and have used Vonage ever since. Vonage requires a high-speed broadband Internet connection. Around here that means Comcast cable broadband since Verizon has blocked Vonage on their DSL service and likely FiOS as well. Apparently they donít want to enable their competition. Comcastís cables are mounted on telephone poles. The Governor just succeeded in getting the poles and other infrastructure added to the tax rolls. That means that my cable broadband bill will be going up even though I am not a direct customer of Verizon.
Isnít that just delightful?
How much would it cost to connect to the internet via cellular modem? What would the service be like and how much would it cost? Not a viable option as far as I can see. How about using a fax machine via cell phone?
You can avoid paying this tax but to do so you will have to give up services and conveniences that we have become accustomed to.
Or you can vote for candidates that understand that Robin Hood taxation hurts the very people they claim to want to help.
You act as if your rates have never increased before.

Are you sure you aren't just trying to "blame America first" for your phone bill?

If Comcast and Verizon and every other carrier are sharing the poles then they are sharing the tax. Not a huge amount for companies the size of Comcast or Verizon.

Both companies institute arbitrary price increases regardless of what happens, so at least they are giving something back in exchange for screwing you -- this time.

Since you are so adamant with your criticism, I'd like to hear your solution to increase revenues without further cuts in services. Can you do better?
amazed

Lunenburg, MA

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#12
Mar 4, 2008
 
Mayor Mazzarella, Who is responsible for cleaning the graffiti off of city property such as the "LB3" on the Skyview Middle School sign. Those who live in glass houses...
Marc from Leominster

Clinton, MA

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#13
Mar 4, 2008
 
Yep ... yet another hidden tax from the Governor of the commonWEALTH. Thank you Gov. And if this Obama clown gets in the Whitehouse ... that loud sucking sound Ross Perot used to talk about, is going to be the vacuum cleaners in Boston & Washington sucking our wallets empty. Obama & Patrick ... mirror image bookends leading to doom.
John Smythe

Worcester, MA

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#14
Mar 4, 2008
 
All taxing telephone poles does is add more charges and fees onto the monthly bill which in the end is just another TAX that all of us will pay to the phone company/ light company and cable bills to offset their loss of $$. Why is Mass the only state that still has cops oops... Highly trained law enforcement officers who I would rarher see catching criminals rather than standing on the sidewalk shooting the breeze at 40-60 $$ an hour -4 hr minimum charge to watch lineman slice a wire up on a pole. 49 other states use civilian flagmen or their own employees. What a FRAUD. Only in Taxachusettes !!!
John Smythe

Worcester, MA

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#15
Mar 4, 2008
 
Marc from Leominster wrote:
Yep ... yet another hidden tax from the Governor of the commonWEALTH. Thank you Gov. And if this Obama clown gets in the Whitehouse ... that loud sucking sound Ross Perot used to talk about, is going to be the vacuum cleaners in Boston & Washington sucking our wallets empty. Obama & Patrick ... mirror image bookends leading to doom.
How does Hillery intend to lower the price of Gas? She is anti -drilling for oil environmental whacko. In Venizualia gas is 15 cents a gallon. WHY? Why don,t we end conflict with that country and get gas cheaper? Local towns and cities run fire alarm wires along those poles. Verizon could back charge them for this free service. Where does it end?
skeptik

Gardner, MA

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#16
Mar 5, 2008
 
Reality wrote:
It's the least Verizon can do -- after helping the government spy on US citizens -- to pay the damn taxes on their property like everyone else.
I don't know why Verizon is singled out in this post, half the poles in Fitchburg, and Townsend are owned by Unitil, all the poles in Ashby are Unitil, The poles in Leominster are owned by National Grid. There are a lot of other utilities out there responsible fot the placement and upkeep of these utility poes than just one company. Also, there are quite a few municipal electric companies in the state who own and maintain poles in their communities.The municipality going to tax itself ?? I think they have just created another Taxachusetts MESS that the consumer will bear the brunt of, not benefit...AGAIN !!!
Reality

United States

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#17
Mar 5, 2008
 
skeptik wrote:
<quoted text>...I think they have just created another Taxachusetts MESS that the consumer will bear the brunt of, not benefit...AGAIN !!!
It's time to debunk this myth that corporations do not pay taxes. It's just ridiculous.

You think that every time corporate tax rate is raised it raises prices?

Why is the inverse not true? Why do prices not fall when taxes are lowered?

Prices ALWAYS go up. They go up as fast and as far as possible until demand drops to the point of profit loss. That means a rise in taxes will have no effect on prices because prices will rise at any opportunity regardless of the rate at which the business is taxed.

There is nothing wrong about corporations, which make greater use of our roads, courts, and general infrastructure compared to individuals, paying their fair share of taxes.
Hawk

Bronx, NY

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#18
Mar 5, 2008
 
So, NO TAXES for Businesses in the State? That's what you're all saying, if we charge them for polls etc, they'll just pass it on, if you Tax them on their Business and Profits, they'll pass it on!

Somehow, the State is "taxing us"?
HerrBGone

Corning, NY

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#19
Mar 5, 2008
 
Reality, I can tell you this much: from my experience investing in real estate, when a municipality increases the tax burden on my investment properties, the rent I have to charge my tenants goes up. The telecoms are for profit businesses. They will not absorb this tax increase. They will pass it on to you and me and all of their other customers. That is simply the way business works. To think otherwise is to truly not understand the way of things.

Hawk, businesses generally pay their fair share of taxes. That is part of the cost of doing business anywhere. But ask yourself: where does the money come from? A businessí money comes from the fees they charge their customers. When a businessí expenses go up their fees go up. When a businessí taxes go up that expense is passed along to their customers. When the telephone poles get added to the tax rolls that cost is passed along to the customers of the business that owns the poles. It really is that simple. By raising the tax burden on the telecoms the Commonwealth has indirectly added a new tax to the residents of the Commonwealth.

Robin Hood is a myth.
Reality

United States

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#20
Mar 5, 2008
 
HerrBGone wrote:
Reality, I can tell you this much: from my experience investing in real estate, when a municipality increases the tax burden on my investment properties, the rent I have to charge my tenants goes up. The telecoms are for profit businesses. They will not absorb this tax increase. They will pass it on to you and me and all of their other customers. That is simply the way business works. To think otherwise is to truly not understand the way of things.
Hawk, businesses generally pay their fair share of taxes. That is part of the cost of doing business anywhere. But ask yourself: where does the money come from? A businessí money comes from the fees they charge their customers. When a businessí expenses go up their fees go up. When a businessí taxes go up that expense is passed along to their customers. When the telephone poles get added to the tax rolls that cost is passed along to the customers of the business that owns the poles. It really is that simple. By raising the tax burden on the telecoms the Commonwealth has indirectly added a new tax to the residents of the Commonwealth.
Robin Hood is a myth.
I'll tell you this:

When the price of <insert random non-monopolized commodity here> rises beyond my estimation of its fair worth, I stop buying it.

If I lived in a apartment where the landlord hiked my rent every year, I'd move.(In fact, when I was a renter, that is exactly what I did)

You are lucky you have any tenants left. I'll bet only the drug dealers can keep up with your rent hikes.

If you think the dealings of billion dollar corporations is as simple as a tenant - landlord relationship, you need to return to school, because that is simply rubbish.

Lawyers spend years specializing specifically in corporate law for the very reason that the laws and tax laws surrounding big business is so pointedly complicated.

It really is that complicated. Regardless of how simplistic your view of economics is.

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