Death By Cellphone Taxes, And Cheating It

For products that don’t kill you, we usually pay 6.9%, but for some states have seen fit to tax cellphones at exorbitant rates, like Illinois’ 21.05% or New York’s 21.71%. Why? Probably because people don’t notice or complain very much and so the states get tidy chunk of extra revenue. One Forbes writer who moved from New York to L.A. was still stuck paying New York taxes, the highest in the country. When he complained, Verizon said they couldn’t do anything because they link area of primary usage to your area code. If he wanted to pay L.A. rates, he would have to get an L.A. number, and give up his New York number. Instead, he went and bought a phone in Idaho, provided an Idaho address, and switched to paperless billing. Now he enjoys the small potatoes rate of 7.71%. He admits that this “probably crosses the line.” One must also admit that cellphone taxes have crossed the line, as have cellphone companies that shortcut the Mobile Telecommunications Sourcing Act by determining the “area of primary usage” based on your area code or billing address, instead of detecting where you actually use the phone the most. Inside, a list of cellphone taxes by state.

Cellphone Taxes By State, High To Low
(Tax percentage Includes State-Local Tax, Federal Excise Tax and Federal Universal Service Fund Fee)

New York 21.71%
Florida 21.60%
Washington 21.52%
Illinois 21.05%
Nebraska 20.61%
Texas 19.67%
Rhode Island 19.55%
Pennsylvania 19.05%
California 18.66%
Washington, D.C. 18.05%
South Dakota 17.49%
Tennessee 17.05%
Missouri 16.60%
Arizona 16.54%
North Dakota 16.42%
Wyoming 16.15%
Kansas 15.80%
Utah 15.73%
Arkansas 15.69%
Kentucky 15.46%
Indiana 15.10%
Oklahoma 15.06%
Colorado 14.85%
Mississippi 14.55%
Minnesota 13.58%
New Hampshire 13.35%
Virginia 13.23%
North Carolina 13.13%
Georgia 13.12%
New Mexico 13.11%
Ohio 13.11%
Alabama 12.93%
Vermont 12.75%
Maryland 12.55%
Michigan 12.55%
Iowa 12.01%
Maine 12.01%
South Carolina 11.98%
Connecticut 11.89%
Hawaii 11.62%
New Jersey 11.48%
Massachusetts 11.11%
Wisconsin 11.03%
Deleware 10.97%
Montana 10.47%
Louisiana 9.87%
Alaska 9.53%
Oregon 7.75%
Idaho 7.71%
West Virginia 7.42%
Nevada 6.62%

Cellphone Taxes By State, Alphabetical

Alabama 12.93%
Alaska 9.53%
Arizona 16.54%
Arkansas 15.69%
California 18.66%
Colorado 14.85%
Connecticut 11.89%
Deleware 10.97%
Washington, D.C. 18.05%
Florida 21.60%
Georgia 13.12%
Hawaii 11.62%
Idaho 7.71%
Illinois 21.05%
Indiana 15.10%
Iowa 12.01%
Kansas 15.80%
Kentucky 15.46%
Louisiana 9.87%
Maine 12.01%
Maryland 12.55%
Massachusetts 11.11%
Michigan 12.55%
Minnesota 13.58%
Missippi 14.55%
Missouri 16.60%
Montana 10.47%
Nebraska 20.61%
Nevada 6.62%
New Hampshire 13.35%
New Jersey 11.48%
New Mexico 13.11%
New York 21.71%
North Carolina 13.13%
North Dakota 16.42%
Ohio 13.11%
Oklahoma 15.06%
Oregon 7.75%
Pennsylvania 19.05%
Rhode Island 19.55%
South Carolina 11.98%
South Dakota 17.49%
Tennessee 17.05%
Texas 19.67%
Utah 15.73%
Vermont 12.75%
Virginia 13.23%
Washington 21.52%
West Virginia 7.42%
Wisconsin 11.03%
Wyoming 16.15%

(Source: Forbes)
(Photo: Tim Psych)