In another tax-related case, Vonage Holdings, the nation’s largest independent provider of voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) services, told a Maryland district court that it should not be subject to telecom taxes imposed by the City of Baltimore, as the company neither owns nor leases facilities that qualify as telecommunications lines under Baltimore’s tax law. A year ago, Baltimore filed suit against Vonage in an effort to collect taxes that date back to August 2004 for “leasing, licensing, or selling a communications line to any customer whose billing address is in the city.” Vonage, which has refused to pay the tax, urged the court late last week to deny the city’s motion for summary judgment on grounds that its VoIP service does not involve the leasing, licensing or sale of communications lines. Under amendments to the Baltimore tax statutes enacted in 2004, a telecom line is defined as a wired or wireless connection to an exchange, wireless service or other phone service that is identified by a unique telephone number. Observing that “the only wired or wireless telecommunications connections involved in the Vonage call process are the initial broadband Internet connection and the final connection to the switched telephone network,” Vonage argued that it is “not the furnisher or provider of either of these categories of connections” as Vonage subscribers must obtain their own broadband connections from an Internet service provider for the service to work. As such, Vonage told the court it “cannot be required to pay the tax.”