The Regulatory Mix, TMI’s daily blog of regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court, issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of a TMI Regulatory Bulletin.
A new report by the Tax Federation concludes that the average rates of taxes and fees on wireless telephone services are more than two times higher than the average sales tax rates that apply to most other taxable goods and services. According to the report:
- Americans pay an average of 17.05% in combined federal, state, and local tax and fees on wireless service. This is comprised of a 5.82 percent federal rate and an average 11.23 percent state-local tax rate.
- The five states with the highest state-local rates are: Washington State (18.6 percent), Nebraska (18.48 percent), New York (17.74 percent), Florida (16.55 percent), and Illinois (15.81 percent).
- The five states with the lowest state-local rates are: Oregon (1.76 percent), Nevada (1.86 percent), Idaho (2.62 percent), Montana (6.00 percent), and West Virginia (6.15 percent).
- Four cities—Chicago, Baltimore, Omaha, and New York City—have effective tax rates in excess of 25 percent of the customer bill.
The PSC has ordered that intrastate originating access charges be reduced to the level of interstate originating access charges in two steps, in January 2015 and January 2016. All LECs must file tariffs by 11/30/14, reducing their intrastate originating access rates by 50% of the differential between those rates and the carrier’s interstate rates for comparable service in effect on January 1, 2015. Small ILECs will be allowed to recover some of their lost revenues from the State Universal Service Fund (SUSF). TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Bulletin dated 10/7/14.