17% of the average US wireless bill goes to taxes
Have you lately looked at your wireless bill? I have and I have seen that a pretty substatial portion of my wireless bill is actually .. taxes and fees. According to the CTIA organization, the average US wireless tax is about 17% ! The taxes and fees consumers are forced to pay in New York, Florida, Illinois, Nebraska and the District of Columbia all exceed the 20% level. The issue is that the average tax burden on other goods and services is way lower and stands at 7% level. In fact, since 2003 the tax rate on wireless service has increased nine times faster than the rate on other goods and services.
"Wireless consumers are taking it on the chin," said CTIA-The Wireless Association(tm) President and CEO Steve Largent. "Today, we are calling on all levels of government to cease and desist - the 182 million wireless subscribers in America shouldn't have to carry more than their fair share of the tax burden."
And while taxes have been on the rise, wireless prices have been in decline. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the price of a wireless minute dropped by an overwhelming 81% between 1994 and 2004. At the same time, consumers increased their consumption of wireless minutes by more than 300%. Competition in the wireless marketplace has delivered more and better services at lower cost.
"This is not the kind of give and take that consumers should be happy about," continued Largent. "The wireless industry is giving consumers better service and products and more minutes at lower cost, while governments are taking more and more money for taxes and fees. Government has unfairly viewed falling wireless prices as an opportunity to raise taxes. The steep increase in wireless taxation over the past several years has wrongly prevented consumers from realizing the savings they deserve. The good news is that consumers are taking notice and sending a clear message to policy makers - stop taxing my wireless phone."