Unexpectedly Intriguing!
June 22, 2005

Scott Woolley of Forbes has an interesting strategy for avoiding taxes on his cell phone bill: get a phone number from the area within the U.S. that has low wireless telecommunication taxes (in Woolley's case, Idaho)! (HT: Robert Lawson of Division of Labour.)

If, after reading the Forbes' article, you're curious as to what the effective total wireless service taxes being charged in your state might be, in the interest of "shopping" your wireless service, the Tax Foundation has a comprehensive table showing state by state wireless taxes, which Political Calculations' presents below using dynamic tables. Just click the column heads to rank the data in the table from highest to lowest, or vice versa:

2004 U.S. State-by-State Total Federal, State and Local Wireless Telecommunication Tax Rates
State Effective State and Local Tax Rate (%) Total Effective Tax Rate (%)
Alabama 9.88 15.93
Alaska 7.48 13.53
Arizona 9.70 15.75
Arkansas 13.68 19.73
California 10.23 16.28
Colorado 12.10 18.15
Connecticut 5.96 12.01
Delaware 4.83 10.88
Florida 16.10 22.15
Georgia 15.85 21.90
Hawaii 5.99 12.04
Idaho 4.11 10.16
Illinois 18.90 24.95
Indiana 9.11 15.16
Iowa 9.39 15.44
Kansas 20.28 26.33
Kentucky 12.81 18.86
Louisiana 10.73 16.78
Maine 7.25 13.30
Maine 4.32 10.37
Maryland 25.26 31.31
Michigan 18.10 24.15
Minnesota 6.71 12.76
Mississippi 12.58 18.63
Missouri 21.74 27.79
Montana 3.83 9.88
Nebraska 23.17 29.22
Nevada 1.92 7.97
New Hampshire 6.26 12.31
New Jersey 6.69 12.74
New Mexico 6.54 12.59
New York 15.24 21.29
North Carolina 16.78 22.83
North Dakota 9.47 15.52
Ohio 8.50 14.55
Oklahoma 17.92 23.97
Oregon 11.15 17.20
Pennsylvania 15.28 21.33
Rhode Island 16.76 22.81
South Carolina 12.60 18.65
South Dakota 6.53 12.58
Tennessee 11.81 17.86
Texas 23.24 29.29
Utah 12.31 18.36
Vermont 5.22 11.27
Virginia 27.72 33.77
Washington 17.21 23.26
Washington, DC 12.19 18.24
West Virginia 21.41 27.46
Wisconsin 5.08 11.13
Wyoming 10.04 16.09

The U.S. federal government places a 6.05% tax upon wireless communication services, which has been rolled into the total effective tax rate data above. The original source of the wireless tax data is the Council on State Taxation (COST).

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