VACo Supports Modernizing the Communications Sales and Use Tax

January 18, 2018

VACo calls on its County Members to adopt a resolution supporting HB 1051 (Watts), legislation that modernizes the Communications Sales and Use Tax (CSUT) to reflect the present-day telecommunications world.

Here’s a template of a resolution counties may use. Please send a copy of your resolutions to Dean Lynch at

VACo detailed the need to innovate the “typewriter tax” in a recent County Connections article, stating, “(HB 1051) updates the CSUT by applying it to audio and visual streaming services – technology that was in its infancy when the CSUT was instituted in 2006. The bill also removes the current exemption for the sale or recharge of a prepaid calling service, placing this service on an equal footing with postpaid calling, which is subject to the CSUT.”

Action Required – please adopt a resolution and call your legislators in support of HB 1051. The bill has been referred to the House Finance Committee.


  • The bill updates the CSUT by removing the exemptions for audio and streaming services, and prepaid calling services.
  • Elimination of these exemptions was identified by a Department of Taxation study (mandated by the General Assembly) in 2015 as a way to stabilize declining revenues and remove the “competitive disadvantage” they place on providers of similar service, such as cable television and post-paid calling services.

VACo Contact: Joe Lerch, AICP and Katie Boyle

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