Telecom Taxes Have Run Amok

April 30, 2008

In testimony before the governor’s tax commission in Jackson, Mississippi, experts from the Pew Charitable Trust and the Tax Foundation agreed that taxes on phone companies are a terrible burden on the companies and their customers.

Every new service the hyper-competitive phone companies offer spawns a new tax that is grafted onto old taxes left over from when Ma Bell was our one monopoly phone company.

Just today we received a plea for help from the manager of a new hotel who is desperately trying to figure out what her hotel’s phone bill is going to be like. She drew up a chart of tax rates that she needs to fill in.

TAXES

City

State

Federal

Other1

Other2

Local

____%

____%

____%

____%

____%

950

____%

____%

____%

____%

____%

976

____%

____%

____%

____%

____%

411 Info

____%

____%

____%

____%

____%

555 Info

____%

____%

____%

____%

____%

1-700

____%

____%

____%

____%

____%

1-800

____%

____%

____%

____%

____%

1-900

____%

____%

____%

____%

____%

(0+)

____%

____%

____%

____%

____%

Message Unit

____%

____%

____%

____%

____%

In-state

____%

____%

____%

____%

____%

State-to-state

____%

____%

____%

____%

____%

International

____%

____%

____%

____%

____%

HOBIC

____%

____%

____%

____%

____%

Equipment

____%

____%

____%

____%

____%

Those “other” columns could be school districts or some other regional tax authority, legal entities created by state or local politicians who have delegated the power to tax so that they can avoid voting on a tax hike.

More on cell phone taxes here.


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