Phone bills are getting cheaper

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 21, 2000

L’Observateur / June 21, 2000

BATON ROUGE – State Rep. Bobby Faucheux said that starting next year,consumers should start seeing a reduction in their telephone bills thanks to a piece of legislation recently signed into law by Gov. Foster.House Bill 224, which was passed during the 2000 regular session of the Legislature, changes the way public utilities are taxed for the property they own. According to Faucheux, the law levels the playing field amongcompetitive telecommunications providers and resolves a major telecommunication tax inequity.

As a result, St. John and St. James Parishes will receive $235,685 inproperty taxes immediately. The money will be divided up according toproperty assessment.

This money has been held in escrow for the past two years while the tax inequity issue was resolved.

“The passage of House Bill 224 and the subsequent release of these funds will greatly assist our area in meeting its current budget,” said Faucheux.

“In addition, the legislation protects future revenues and that will help ensure the provision of public services for years to come.”The legislation also protects $424,484 in annual revenues that will fund services such as public safety, infrastructure, schools, hospitals and drainage.

Faucheux went on to say that consumers will appreciate the new legislation because telephone companies will have to reduce the cost of local telephone service to their customers by the amount of their tax savings. These cost reductions will take effect by April 1, 2001.Faucheux said, “This means the average telephone customer should see an overall decrease in their in-state telephone bills.”

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