Weiner: NYC Cell Phone Taxes and Fees Outrageous

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wienerToday, Representative Anthony Weiner (D-Queens and Brooklyn), the Vice Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet, released a new study showing New Yorkers pay 10 cell phone taxes and fees-more than any other major city in the country-as well as the second highest effective cell phone tax rate of the major cities surveyed. Weiner’s study found that residents pay an astonishing 16.2% in state and city cell phone taxes.

NYC has the second highest cell phone tax rate in America, according to the study, and the tax rate of 16.20% is second only to Chicago, which clocks in at 19.02%.

For a $50 phone bill, the average New Yorker pays more than $10 in taxes every single month. And because some of the fees are a set price, customers with smaller phone bills pay comparatively more in taxes and levies. Weiner is a cosponsor of the Cell Tax Fairness Act, which would prevent state and local governments from singling out wireless services for new taxes. It would not, however, roll back or reduce current wireless taxes or fees, and current revenues derived from wireless consumers would stay the same.

“Our cell phone bills have monthly fees for everything from city and state sales taxes to multiple surcharges. It’s gotten out of control,” Weiner said in a statement.

The following is Wiener’s full statement:

“Our cell phone bills have monthly fees for everything from city and state sales taxes to multiple surcharges. It’s gotten out of control,” Weiner said.

Study Highlights:

· New York City residents have 10 city and state taxes charged on their cell phone bill-more than any other of the major cities highlighted in the study. Of those 10 taxes, 4 are state while the remaining 6 taxes are levied by the City

· NYC residents pay 4.5% more in cell taxes, than residents of Los Angeles, which was the lowest of the 10 surveyed cities.

· New York City residents are burdened with the following 10 taxes and fees every month when they receive a cell phone bill:

-State sales tax: 4.0%

-Local sales tax: 4.125%

-Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District sales tax: 0.25%

-State excise tax: 2.5%

– Metropolitan Commuter Transportation excise/surcharge: 0.3%

-Local utility gross receipts tax: 1.51%

-State wireless 911: $1.20 per month statewide

-Local wireless 911: $0.30 per month

– Metropolitan Commuter Transportation surcharge: 0.13%

-NY franchise tax: 0.38%

This adds up to an average of 16.20% in State and City fees and taxes alone for the typical New York City cell phone user. When coupled with the additional Federal service fund tax of more than 4%, this means New Yorkers are charged an extra 20% in taxes on their cell phone bill every month.

Practically speaking, for a $50 phone bill, which according to The Wireless Association ,CTIA, is the average bill among the surveyed cities, someone living in New York City would pay more than $10 in taxes every single month. Furthermore, because some of the fees are a set price every month, customers who have smaller phone bills are paying comparatively more in taxes and levies.

To help ease the tax burden on New Yorkers, Representative Weiner is a cosponsor of the Cell Tax Fairness Act. The bill is designed to prevent state and local governments from singling out wireless services for new taxes. If a state or locality wants to impose or raise wireless tax rates or fees in conjunction with raising the rate on general goods and services, it is permissible under the legislation.

The Cell Tax Fairness Act does not roll back or reduce current wireless taxes or fees imposed by a state or local governments. Current revenues derived from wireless consumers would stay the same.

In 2008 alone, Americans paid nearly $21 billion in combined state, local and federal wireless taxes and fees. State and local wireless taxes and fees increased from 10.2% to 11% between 2003 and 2007-four times faster than the increase in overall sales and use taxes imposed on sales of other competitive goods and services.

 Top Cities with Highest Average Cell Phone Taxes

Chicago — 19.02%

New York City — 16.20%

Jacksonville — 15.99%

Miami — 15.89%

Seattle — 14.79%

Baltimore — 14.54%

Philadelphia — 14.01%

Houston — 12.39%

Los Angeles — 11.72%

Washington, DC — 11.53%

{Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}

5 COMMENTS

  1. Have your wireless carrier e-mail your bill to you instead of mailing it, and change your billing address to a low tax state like Iowa?

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