believe it or not, the first telephone tax was an indirect result of the sinking of american battleship Maine, which precipitated the spanish-american war. the tax was created to help pay for the war. during the great depression a tax on long distance service was created to supplement falling income tax and was subsequently applied to local service as well. we’ve been paying it ever since. good news, however, came in 2006 when the IRS (after losing multiple court cases) finally gave up trying to collect “toll telephone service” taxes. unfortunately, regular local service is still taxed (look at your bill). a 2011 bill to kill the tax once and for all seems to have died in committee. please, please get rid of this ancient and regressive tax.