And cheaper plans favored by the frugal and poor are taxed at higher rates.
Someone with a $29.99 T-Mobile Basic plan with 300 minutes pays $6.95 in taxes monthly, a rate of 23.18 percent, 2 percentage points above the typical city bill.
People trying to save money with multiline family plans are hit harder.
Federal, state and local taxes on a two-line Sprint plan costing $69.99 a month add up to $15.73, a rate of 24.25 percent, 3 points above the typical bill.
Sprint offers additional lines for $9.99 each. Add $2.89 in state and city taxes and 42 cents in federal taxes, and each extra $9.99 line carries a tax bill of $3.32 — a 33.20 percent rate, 12 percentage points above the typical bill.
“The taxes are insane!” cried Jessica Porter, 36, a gallery worker from the East Village with a similar three-line family plan.
Cellphone customers gripe that there’s no justification for some of the fees, such as the state’s $1.20-per-line, per-month 911 charge. Responding to complaints that only a tiny amount of the tax went to 911 service, the Legislature voted this month to call it a “public-service fee” instead.
“If there was a $5 monkey fee, even if they couldn’t explain it, you would still have to pay,” sniped Danny Schluck, 28, of Bushwick.
New Yorkers’ cellphone levies include a 4 percent state sales tax, a 4.125 percent city sales tax, and three MTA taxes that add up to 0.98 percent.
Most people never read the phone-bill fine print — they just pay up.
That’s exactly how elected officials like it, said Scott Mackey, an economist who tracks taxes for several cellphone companies and aided The Post’s analysis.
“There’s a tendency to feel no one is going to notice this little tax,” Mackey said. “They can do this without a lot of pushback from their constituents.”
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