ALBANY -- Here's another tax where New York ranks among the highest: cell phone charges.
New Yorkers pay a wireless tax rate that exceeds the national average and ranks third highest in the nation, according to the Tax Foundation.
With as many as nine state and local charges, New Yorkers pay as much as 25 percent of their bill toward taxes and fees, the group said in a report Tuesday.
So New York’s combined state-local wireless taxes and fees are roughly six percentage points higher than the national average.
New York’s tax and fee rate is about 18 percent, while the national weighted average is 11.9 percent.
Add in a 6.6 percent Federal Universal Service Fund rate, and New York’s combined federal and state wireless tax rate is nearly 25 percent, ranking behind only Washington and Nebraska for the largest cost in the nation.
Oregon had the lowest rate with a state and local tax of less than 2 percent, the fiscally conservative, Washington D.C. based group said.
The high taxes can disproportionately impact the poor, the group said.
“It’s important to remember that wireless service is increasingly the sole means of communication and connectivity for many Americans, particularly those with lower incomes,” Joseph Henchman, the Tax Foundation's vice president, said in a statement.
In a household with four wireless phones and monthly charges of $100, consumers can expect to pay roughly $225 a year in taxes, fees and government surcharges, the group estimated.
New York allows for state and local sales tax, an excise tax, a gross receipts tax, state and local charges for 911, as well as a sales tax that aids schools, the report said.
The group has often ranked New York as having among the highest overall taxes in the nation, as well as having one of its worst business climates.