Taxes and fees on wireless consumers increased to a record high 18.6% of the average U.S. customer’s monthly bill. In just two years, the average wireless tax burden has increased by 1.5 percentage points, and wireless taxes are now 4.5 percentage points higher than they were ten years ago. 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.Wireless industry competition has led to significant reductions in average monthly bills from $46.44 per month in 2015 to $44.65 in 2016. Since 2008, average monthly bills have dropped from just under $50 per month to $44.65 per month – an 11% reduction – while taxes and fees have increased from 15.1% to 18.6% – a 23% increase. 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.Once again, consumers in the state of Washington pay the highest wireless taxes in the country, with total taxes and fees again adding more than 25% to the bill. Nebraska, New York, Illinois, and Pennsylvania round out the “top five” states with high wireless taxes. Oregon, Nevada, and Idaho customers continue to enjoy the lowest wireless taxes and fees in the country.
Universal service is the principle that all Americans should have access to communications services. Universal service is also the name of a fund and the category of FCC programs and policies to implement this principle. Universal service is a cornerstone of the law that established the FCC, the Communications Act of 1934. Since that time, universal service policies have helped make telephone service ubiquitous, even in remote rural areas. Today, the FCC recognizes high-speed Internet as the 21st Century’s
So, to put it another way… here is yet another example to pile onto the thousands of others where the fucking US Government has (a long time ago) figured out how to utterly screw the american taxpayer out of even more.
Oh yes, I know it’s beyond laughable, but every time I read of another example of how free-enterprise, or – lets just say any Tom, Dick or Harry could get something done, the bastards in Government look at it and say, “oh, fuck no man, we are going to own this shit… we can jump in here and completely take this over, and build yet another gigantic bureaucracy around it where we can put more cats on the Government payroll, charge fees, taxes, contrived services… oh yeah, we’re going to fuck everyone really good on this one…”
Overall, the Tax Foundation found that American wireless customers annually pay approximately $17.2 billion in taxes, fees, and government surcharges. The biggest chunk of that, about $7 billion, goes to sales taxes, while over $5 billion is paid as part of the federal Universal Service Fund (USF) surcharges.All providers must contribute to USF, which funds initiatives such as the Connect America Fund, Lifeline, and E-rate, according to the FCC. But this fee is not required by law to be charged to the consumer; in fact, some carriers absorb the cost, while others pass it along to consumers as an extra fee.