N.H. ranks favorably for cell phone taxes

A new study reviewing state and federal cell-phone taxes says New Hampshire ranks among states with lower charges, but it’s far from the lowest.The Tax Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based tax policy group, ranked New Hampshire 32nd for a combined state-federal cell phone tax rate of 13.23 percent, with an average of 8.18 percent comprising the state portion.According to the study, the average U.S. consumer pays 16.26 percent in wireless taxes, based on data from FCC studies and the wireless industry.The study found that cell phones are taxed at a much higher level than other consumer items — even as much as or more than alcohol or cigarettes in many states — which can include per-line/per-month fees in addition to other state and federal charges.Regionally, Rhode Island had the highest combined wireless taxes, at 19.67 percent, for a national rank of sixth, and was one of six states that charges sales taxes on wireless customers and gross receipt taxes to wireless service providers.Vermont ranked 30th, with a combined wireless tax rate of 13.55 percent, followed by Massachusetts at 12.86 percent (36th); Maine, 12.21 percent (40th); and Connecticut, 12.01 percent (41st).Oregon had the lowest wireless taxes at 6.86 percent, with 1.81 percent state charges. – CINDY KIBBE/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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