- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 6, 2017

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A new 4.5-cent monthly tax will be added to Louisiana cellphone bills if the governor agrees with a bill backed by lawmakers.

The dollars would pay for technology assistance and services for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Current law imposes a 5-cent monthly tax on landline phones, with the money deposited into the Telecommunications for the Deaf Fund. The bill would drop that rate to 4.5 cents a month but expand the tax to wireless services.

The bill by Rep. Patricia Smith, a Baton Rouge Democrat, received final legislative passage with an 85-8 vote Tuesday. If Gov. John Bel Edwards agrees to the proposal, the new tax would take effect Oct. 1. It would raise an estimated $4.7 million annually.

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House Bill 582: www.legis.la.gov

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This story has been corrected to show the tax would be 4.5 cents, rather than 4.25 cents.


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