You Used to Call Me on My Cell Phone

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Sometimes it’s not you, it’s New York’s high taxes that cause relationships to go off the rails. Whether it’s hotline bling, or calling grandma, paying cell phone bills here isn’t cheap.

A recent report from the Tax Foundation found that New York has the third highest average tax rate for cell service in the entire country at 24.64 percent, less than one percentage point behind the leader with Washington at 25.58 percent. Oregon has the lowest rate at just 8.32 percent.

As Newsday also reported, “Of New York’s 24.64 percent cellphone tax rate, 18.3 percentage points are from the state, New York City, other cities, counties, school districts and transit districts.” In other words, local taxes are a huge percentage of the tax burden.

There are more consequences to these high taxes. For starters, they disproportionately hurt the poor since they don’t have as many financial resources to absorb those higher costs compared to those who are better off. Additionally, these high taxes undermine much of the progress that has been made by providers reducing prices and improving quality thanks to market competition.

New Yorkers are struggling to stay afloat, with many fleeing once they get the chance. If politicians really want to help their constituents and make it worthwhile for them to stay, lowering these cellphone taxes would be a great start, relationships are at stake.