Getting Out of the Office Taxed at Almost 17%

If you are thinking of getting out of the office after tax season, you might not want to take your cell phone along. As light as the phones themselves have become, they carry a heavy tax burden.

The average wireless tax burden is approximately 17 percent but can be as high as 20 percent. In four states (New York, Nebraska, Florida and Illinois) and the District of Columbia, more than 20 percent of the monthly bill goes toward federal, state, and local taxes and fees. Unlike prices, which have been declining, wireless taxes have increased nine times faster than taxes on other goods and services.

Consumers are also using 300 percent more wireless minutes between 1994 and 2004.

“This is not the kind of give and take consumers should be happy about,” Steve Largent, President and CEO of CTIA-The Wireless Association told Businesswire. “The wireless industry is giving consumers better service and products and more minutes at a lower cost, while governments are taking more and more money for taxes and fees. The steep increase in wireless taxation over the past several years has wrongly prevented consumers from realizing the savings they deserve.”

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