Arizona Ranks 18th Highest In Wireless Service Taxes

Published: Friday, December 21, 2018 - 5:05am

A new analysis by the Tax Foundation finds the taxes paid for wireless service have increased 27 percent nationwide over the past decade.

Taxes, fees and surcharges make up 19 percent of the average customer’s bill nationwide. The Tax Foundation says a household with four wireless phones that pays $100 a month for service will pay $229 to federal, state and local governments this year.

Researchers reviewed state and local rates in the largest cities and state capitals across the country and ranked Arizona 18th highest. Nearly 12.6 percent of a Phoenix wireless bill covers state and local taxes, fees and surcharges. The Federal Universal Service Fund surcharge is 6.64 percent which brings the combined federal, state and local rate to 19.21 percent.

Illinois has the highest wireless tax rates at 27.55 percent followed by Alaska and Washington at 26.1 percent, Nebraska at 25.5 percent and New York at 25.2 percent. Wireless users in Oregon, Idaho and Nevada pay the lowest taxes.

According to the Tax Foundation, since 2008, average wireless monthly bills have dropped by 23 percent per month while taxes have increased from 15.1 percent of the bill to 19.1 percent, which is a 27 percent increase. The group says wireless consumers will pay an estimated $16.1 billion in taxes, fees, and government surcharges in 2018.