Washington state has the highest cellphone tax rate in the country.
That’s according to a recent study by the Tax Foundation, a nonprofit independent tax policy research group based in Washington, D.C.
Taxes and fees on wireless consumers increased to a record high of 18.6 percent of the average U.S. customer’s monthly bill, according to the study.
Washington customers pays the highest wireless taxes with total taxes and fees adding more than 25 percent to the bill, the report said.
Nebraska, New York, Illinois, and Pennsylvania round out the “top five” states with high wireless taxes. Oregon, Nevada, and Idaho customers have the lowest wireless taxes and fees in the country.
A typical American household with four wireless phones paying $100 per month for wireless voice service is now paying nearly $225 per year in taxes, fees, and government surcharges, the report said.
The foundation suggested that competition between wireless carriers has caused monthly bills to drop by about 11 percent in the past eight years while taxes and fees have increased by 23 percent.
“Unfortunately, consumers are not enjoying the full benefit of these price reductions because of the growing tax burden on wireless service. Taxes are growing at a rate twice as fast as average wireless prices have been falling,” the report said.
The Tax Foundation encouraged states to study their existing communications tax structure and consider policies that “transition their tax systems from narrowly-based wireless taxes and toward broad-based tax sources that do not distort consumer purchasing decisions and do not slow investment in critical infrastructure like wireless broadband.”
The report also said higher taxes on wireless service, coupled with increased taxes on wireless investments, could lead to slower deployment of wireless network infrastructure, including 4G and 5G wireless broadband technologies.
To read the full report, visit bit.ly/celltaxes.
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