This week, the Oregon Department of Revenue decided to reject Comcast’s tax con — and you helped make that happen!
The Coalition for Corporate Responsibility — a group of consumer and tax policy organizations that includes the Oregon Consumer League, Tax Fairness Oregon, The Oregon Center for Public Policy, and OSPIRG — submitted a petition that you, and about 2,000 other Oregonians, signed, urging the Department of Revenue to reject Comcast’s appeal.
The Director of the Department heard you loud and clear — this week’s ruling declared that Comcast’s “Gigabit Pro” service does not qualify for a tax break meant to bring affordable, high-speed internet service to Oregonians. We want to thank you for making this decision happen, and for making sure that large and out-of-state corporations like Comcast pay their fair share!
Now that the Department of Revenue has rejected Comcast’s latest attempt to avoid paying taxes, it’s time for Comcast to pay what it owes for the last tax break it tried to evade:
For years, Comcast convinced the state that it did not provide “data transmissions services,” which allowed them to avoid paying millions of dollars in property taxes in Oregon. In 2009, the state finally wised up and ruled that of course, Comcast’s internet and VOIP services did constitute “data transmissions services” and they would have to pay “centrally assessed” property taxes, just like every other telecom company in the state. Comcast appealed that ruling and for five years has been fighting in the courts to avoid paying its fair share. Since 2009, Comcast has accrued more than $120 million in unpaid property taxes!
Imagine what Oregonians are being deprived of, all because Comcast won’t pay what it owes. Think of what $120 million could fund, think of all the teachers or public safety officers who could be hired, the seniors who could finally access the services that they rely on, the bridges and roads that could be improved. Comcast made $8.2 billion in profits last year; it doesn’t need any more subsidies. But Oregon needs Comcast to pay its fair share.
We’ve stopped the Comcast con. Now we need to tell Comcast, it’s time to PAY WHAT YOU OWE
Oregon Consumer League Warns Consumers About CenturyLink’s Deceptive Billing Practices
CenturyLink appears to have a pattern of fraudulently billing customers in two ways:
CenturyLink customers are finding charges on their bills for services they did not request. This came to light earlier this year when a former CenturyLink employee claims she was fired for blowing the whistle on the telecommunications company’s high-pressure sales culture that led to customers paying millions of dollars for accounts they didn’t request.
The second scheme is tied to CenturyLink’s aggressive rollout of its new high-speed fiber internet service in Oregon. Several customers are being billed at over twice the amount that CenturyLink’s door-to-door salespeople are promising. A lawsuit was just filed against CenturyLink in the United Stated District Court of Oregon for the company’s deceptive practices.
The Oregon Consumer League is encouraging CenturyLink customers to look closely at their billing statements and if they see services or charges that they didn’t agree to, they should contact CenturyLink customer service to have the services/charges removed.
If CenturyLink is not cooperative, consumers can file a complaint with the Oregon Attorney General’s office at 877-877-9392 or online at https://justice.oregon.gov/consumercomplaints/OnlineComplaints/OnlineComplaintForm/en.
For more information about the pending Oregon class action against CenturyLink, visit CenturyLink-Fraud.com