Illinois Residents Are Hit With U.S.’s Highest Cell Phone Taxes
It's not like Illinoisans pay the highest overall tax rates in the nation, or the second-highest property taxes, or among the highest gas prices coast-to-coast...oh, wait.
It actually is like that. Okay, so add wireless phone taxes to the list of things that we're overpaying for here in Illinois.
I'll admit to being surprised by how much our cell phone bills go up when you combine federal, state, and local tax rates for cell phones here in Illinois. You may be, too.
TaxFoundation.Org Took A Look, State-By-State, At Which States Pay The Most In Taxes On Their Cellular Service--And Illinois Is Your Clear Winner (even if this doesn't feel like winning)
Before revealing the answer, would you like to take a guess at what percentage of your Illinois cell phone bill consists of taxes? Probably not, but go ahead and humor me.
If you said "Just under 35%," give yourself a pat on the...well...empty wallet (the number is actually 34.9%).
"Illinois has the highest rate at just under 35% of your wireless bill that goes towards taxes and fees," Justin Carlson of the Illinois Policy Institute told The Center Square.
The federal tax rate on wireless plans is 12.24%. Illinois' state tax on wireless plans of 22.65% is the most expensive for cell phone users nationwide.
No other midwestern state finished in the top 10 of the list, as North Dakota finished at No. 11.
Here In Illinois, We Pay The Most--But Everyone Across The Country Is Shelling Out Serious Money On Phone Taxes
We may pay more in wireless taxes here in Illinois, but make no mistake, Americans are paying through the nose all over the country. Estimates place the cost of taxes, fees, and government surcharges on wireless phones at over $11 billion annually.
IllinoisPolicy.org says that based upon their calculations, a family living in Chicago on a four-line plan that costs $100 a month gives up 34% of their bill to taxes, whereas the same family would pay 20% in New York City.
Here are the tax-rate numbers for our neighboring states:
- Wisconsin: 20.1%
- Iowa: 22.1%
- Missouri: 27.2%
- Indiana: 23.6%
- Kentucky: 23.5%