Document:California Press Release 12 November 1999 Forget ATMs Some Fees That Should Really Be Banned

From LPedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
400 Capitol Mall, Suite 900
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 449-3941
For immediate release: November 12, 1999
For additional information:
Juan Ros, Executive Director
Phone: (818) 506-0200

Forget ATMs: here are some fees that Libertarians say should really be banned

SACRAMENTO -- Upset about ATM surcharges? Don't be, the Libertarian Party of California advised: there are plenty of other fees that should really be banned, the party announced today.

"ATM surcharges may be annoying, but they shouldn't be illegal," declared Libertarian state chair Mark Hinkle. "ATM expansion over the last three years has benefited all consumers. The surcharge is a small price for consumers to pay for the incredible convenience ATMs provide."

The cities of San Francisco and Santa Monica have banned banks from charging ATM fees to noncustomers. In response, Bank of America and Wells Fargo Bank, the two largest banks in California, have restricted ATM use in those cities to their customers only. Other cities are considering a similar ban.

"ATM surcharges can be avoided if customers stick to their own bank's ATMs," Hinkle pointed out. "The truly dangerous fees that should be banned are the ones that consumers cannot avoid."

Among the fees Libertarians would like to see banned are:

  • Airport and Airline Fees -- Passengers currently pay a 7.5% excise fee on each airline ticket, an additional $2.25 per domestic flight segment, and a $3 Passenger Facility Charge.

"These fees could add several hundred dollars to a family's Disney World vacation," Hinkle noted.

  • Gasoline Taxes -- The federal government charges 18.4 cents per gallon and California collects 18 cents per gallon.

"Californians also pay sales tax on the gas tax," Hinkle said. "Sadly, low income families are hit hardest by gas taxes."

  • Telephone Taxes -- A typical Californian's phone bill tacks on a federal Charge for Interstate Calling, a state High Cost Fund Surcharge, a Teleconnect Fund Surcharge, a Universal Lifeline Service Surcharge, a State Regulatory Fee, a Relay Service and Communications Devices Fund, an Equal Access Recovery Charge, a 911 tax, and federal and local taxes. Taxes and fees can account for 20 to 30% of a cellular phone bill.

"There is no getting around these taxes and fees, which are also added to tobacco, alcohol, cable bills, electric bills, hotel bills, and car rentals. What's worse, these excise taxes hurt the poor most.

"Californians should be angry at their government for imposing so many unavoidable fees -- not at banks for making their lives easier."