Research by the Pew Internet Project indicates minority populations are avid users of wireless technology, so MyWireless.org® wanted to learn about why they use wireless communication so much in their daily lives and how they felt about some policy issues that had a direct impact on what they’re paying for their service. With the help of McLaughlin & Associates and Penn Schoen Berland, we conducted two bipartisan surveys of a nationally-representative samples of both African American and Hispanic likely voters and got some interesting results back.
We found that respondents were extremely satisfied with their wireless service, support legislation that would help protect them from paying new multiple or discriminatory taxes on their cell phone bill, are skeptical of government regulation and widely believe that they get a high level of value out of their cell phone service.
When asked about two specific tax bills that we are pushing for in Congress on behalf of consumers, the Wireless Tax Fairness Act and the Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act, both the African American and Hispanic Communities showed even stronger support for the measures than we found in our 2012 Annual Wireless Consumer Survey of the general population released earlier this month.
Specifically, 83 percent of African Americans and 85 percent of Hispanics surveyed said they support a five-year freeze on new wireless taxes and fees, which would prohibit states and municipalities from raising taxes and fees on wireless service. The general population survey showed 80 percent support the measure.
Regarding taxes on digital downloads, about 2.5 times more African Americans and nearly twice as many Hispanics surveyed said they believe federal guidelines should establish one fair and consistent set of taxes to apply to purchases of online digital downloads, compared to the number of those who support the possibility of being subjected to multiple taxes for the same download purchase. Specifically, 55 percent of African Americans support a national and consistent download tax while only 21 percent were in favor of the current state-by-state and individual jurisdiction regime. For Hispanics, those numbers were 50 percent (federal) and 27 percent (state-by-state). Sixty-three percent and 62 percent respectively said they purchase digital downloads such as ringtones, music, video games, books, software or apps to your cell phone or other wireless device, compared with 30 percent of those in our annual survey.