Cable television and telephone subscribers pay hefty taxes and fees on these services, while Internet access is largely untaxed. The burden on telephone and cable subscribers in 59 cities for which complete data are available is 13.40 percent. This is more than twice the average general sales tax paid on other goods (6.61 percent). This report documents taxes and fees on communication services, describes their destructive consequences, and calls for tax and regulatory reform.
The tables below, in PDF format, provided city-specific data for the tax and fee burdens faced by average consumers in 59 cities who have cable, wireline telephone, wireless telephone, and Internet services. The average monthly cost imposed on consumers is $20.59, for an imputed rate of 10.94 percent.
The total burden ranges from a low of $10.93 (5.81 percent) in Lansing, Michigan to a high of $30.22 (16.06 percent) in Tallahassee, Florida. Consumers in the cities of Kansas City, Missouri, Austin and Dallas, Texas, Omaha, Nebraska, and Tallahassee, Florida endure the highest burden. Meanwhile, consumers in Lansing, Michigan, Billings, Montana, Carson City, Nevada, Wilmington, Delaware, and Las Vegas, Nevada enjoy the lowest rates.