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Think you’re paying too much in fees and taxes on your monthly bill for wireless service? In the United States, mobile device users pay an average of 17.05 percent in combined federal, state, and local taxes and fees on their cellular service bills, according to a new report released today by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation. Four cities — Chicago, Baltimore, Omaha, and New York City — impose effective tax rates in excess of 25 percent of your bill. States favor higher wireless service taxes because they’re a relatively sneaky way that they can raise revenue without inciting a lot of complaints or bad press. How much higher are your cell phone fees and taxes than your state sales taxes on most other goods and services?
Of course, governments need taxes to raise necessary revenue, but there are some compelling reasons as to why lawmakers should look elsewhere before expanding wireless taxes, fees, and surcharges. Makey thinks that targeted cell phone fees and taxes might also slow investment in wireless infrastructure by lowering consumer demand for wireless services. California is about to charge a new tax on some of the most affordable cell phones and local businesses say it's going to affect everybody.
California is about to charge a new tax on some of the most affordable cell phones and local businesses say it's going to affect everybody. Your wireless carrier isn't the only one pocketing money when you pay your cell phone bill. Local, state and federal governments, 911 systems and even school districts tack on taxes and surcharges to your wireless bill that end up costing American cell phone customers an extra 17.2%, on average, according to the Tax Foundation. For consumers accustomed to single-digit sales taxes, these double-digit fees can appear unusually burdensome.
In Nebraska, which has the country's highest wireless tax rate, customers would pay $74.69 each month for a $60 cell phone bill.

A wireless customer who lives in New York, for instance, could have up to 12 different taxes and surcharges show up on his or her wireless bill. High wireless taxes date back to the "Ma Bell" days of AT&T (T, Fortune 500), when few Americans had cell phones and various governments saw wireless surcharges as a way to support expensive services, such as rural telephone infrastructure build-outs. Some opponents to the current wireless tax structure argue that states, cities and other districts see cell phone bills as an undercover way to dodge the political fallout of raising other taxes.
Even living in a state with no sales tax doesn't save you from having to pay high taxes on your cell phone bill. People in a high-tax state bordering a state with low fees can't escape by buying a phone across the border. For years Amazon has fought charging sales tax to California resident’s, but this Friday that all comes to an end. Brick and motor retail stores have been pushing this as well, wanting to level the playing field. Be ready for this to spread to multiple online retailers, it’s just a matter of time. But unlike sales, income or property taxes, wireless taxes remain largely hidden -- tacked on to the end of your monthly wireless bill and often ignored.
Every American today pays 5.82% of their cell phone bill to the federal Universal Service Fund, which originally paid for those rural phone services.
Sales-tax-free Alaska has a higher-than-average 17.9% tax rate on wireless services, thanks in large part to its hefty 6%, state-imposed Universal Service Fund tax to support rural telephone services. The Mobile Telecommunications Sourcing Act of 2002 demands that taxes be levied at the address that the cell phone company determines to be a customer's "place of primary use." So if you live in Washington -- the state with the nation's second-highest wireless tax rate -- it doesn't necessarily pay to buy your next phone in Oregon, which has the lowest rate in the country. Two versions of a "Wireless Tax Fairness Act" that are floating around Congress have garnered bipartisan support.

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Amazon currently has a huge advantage not having to charge tax, thus pulling a ton of business away from the retailers.
Well they plan on opening a bunch more distribution centers, giving them the ability to ship overnight anywhere.
I needed extra batteries for my video camera as well as some memory for my computer, so I took care of that today. Although Gary is mostly an Android guy, he enjoys trying out all kinds of devices and apps. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc.
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