BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana cellphone bills will be edging up later this year.

Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Monday that he has signed into law a bill enacting a new 4.5-cent monthly tax on cellphones.

The dollars will 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 will drop that rate to 4.5 cents a month but expand the tax to wireless services.

The tax change by Rep. Patricia Smith, a Baton Rouge Democrat, takes effect Oct. 1.

The new tax will raise an estimated $4.7 million annually.


House Bill 582: www.legis.la.gov