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Chicago Tops List Of Highest Wireless Taxes

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Dec 14, 2009 9:20PM

Photo by ehfisher
Talking about high taxes in the City of Chicago is a pastime of sorts. Now, we have another one we can put on the list. According to a study done by The Wireless Association - "an international nonprofit membership organization founded in 1984, representing all sectors of wireless communications" - Chicago tops a nationwide list of cities with the highest cell phone taxes. The study was released over the weekend by New York congressman Anthony Weiner, the Vice Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet. Weiner is also a cosponsor of the Cell Tax Fairness Act, a bill that counts a few of our own area U.S. reps - Luis Gutierrez, Judy Biggert, and Peter Roskam - among its cosponsors.

The study is based on an average cellphone bill of $50 per month. The top 10 cities with their combined city and state taxes:

  1. Chicago -- 19.02%
  2. New York City -- 16.20%
  3. Jacksonville -- 15.99%
  4. Miami -- 15.89%
  5. Seattle -- 14.79%
  6. Baltimore -- 14.54%
  7. Philadelphia -- 14.01%
  8. Houston -- 12.39%
  9. Los Angeles -- 11.72%
  10. Washington, DC -- 11.53%

According to a release by Weiner: "The [Cell Tax Fairness Act] is designed to prevent state and local governments from singling out wireless services for new taxes. If a state or locality wants to impose or raise wireless tax rates or fees in conjunction with raising the rate on general goods and services, it is permissible under the legislation. The Cell Tax Fairness Act does not roll back or reduce current wireless taxes or fees imposed by a state or local governments. Current revenues derived from wireless consumers would stay the same."