State Wireless Taxes Compared


Taxes on wireless transactions are a pain for prepaid and postpaid customers alike. But have you ever wondered how your state compares to others as far as tax goes? Yeah, me neither. It’s not something I ever really thought about until I saw this report. The Tax Foundation did as study comparing this year’s wireless state and local taxes, and some of the figures were a little surprising. While these tax rates are mostly relevant for postpaid, prepaid customers still pay a percentage of these taxes so I thought I might take a sec and share. To start, these are the top five states with the highest state-local wireless tax:
  1. Washington State (18.6%)
  2. Nebraska (18.48%)
  3. New York (17.74%)
  4. Florida (16.55%)
  5. Illinios (15.81%)
Alternatively, the five states with the lowest state-local taxes are:
  1. Oregon (1.76%)
  2. Nevada (1.86%)
  3. Idaho (2.62%)
  4. Montana (6%)
  5. West Virginia (6.15%)
That’s a pretty big difference. The report is lengthy and goes into tons of statistics, breaking things down by the most expensive cities (adding local and state taxes together) and the average rates of taxes and fees–which is more than two times the average on other taxable goods, by the way–in addition to other factors and figures and such. Here is a handy chart from the report showing the rate and ranking of each state: Wireless-Fees-2014 If you want to take a look at the report yourself,  you can read it here. Consider yourself warned, it’s honestly a little boring to read through but some of the facts and figures are a little startling. For example, in four cities–Chicago, Baltimore, Omaha and New York City–the effective tax rates for wireless bills is more than 25% of the actual cost of the bill. I simply can’t even fathom paying that much additional on every bill and my state is in the top 10. So, where does your state rank? Let me know in the comments!]]>

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  1. Phil on October 13, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    WA state is where I am! 20 minutes from the Oregon border 🙂 Seriously though, those are postpaid tax rates though. That is why I am prepaid!

    • Liz E. on October 13, 2014 at 1:59 pm

      Agreed, prepaid is so cheaper! Although some prepaid companies and plans do still charge a percentage of those taxes, I believe. Don’t ask me which or how much, but I know that some do.