Some internet service customers have received their monthly bills, only to discover that they are paying more due to the addition of a landline phone tax. Portland Oregon is the scene of a recent appeal by a popular ISP in that state to reverse the approval of the tax, which was initially generated in order to pay for police reforms. The tax requires two local internet companies to begin earmarking five percent of their gross revenues to the city of Portland from the money earned via the provision of land-line telephone service.
But one company has decided to challenge the ruling. One of the more popular internet service providers in Seattle Washington, Centurylink says that the passing along of the new tax onto customers will result in fewer customers using landline phones, which would ultimately go against the goals of the city of Portland to fund reforms for law enforcement. And this is already true with the fact that many alternatives to landlines already exist, including mobile phones. Just 631,000 customers in the Portland area had a residential landline phone in 2011, a startling decrease from the 1.5 million landline customers reported just eleven years prior.