Tax Foundation: Americans Pay 17.2% in Cell Phone Taxes

U.S. wireless consumers pay an average 17.18% in taxes and fees on their cell phone bill, including 11.36% in state and local charges, according to a newly released study that identifies and calculates wireless taxes and fees.

In Nebraska, the combined federal-state-local average rate is 24.49%, and in six other states (Washington, New York, Florida, Illinois, Rhode Island, and Missouri) it exceeds 20%. Twenty-six states have average state-local wireless taxes and fees in excess of 10%, and taking into account the infamous federal telephone excise tax (dating to the Spanish-American War and partly repealed in 2006), cell phone subscribers in seven states pay more than 20 percent in taxes. (See the table for a full list.)

Table: Taxes and Fees on Wireless Service, July 2012

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