Oh those sneaky little taxes

Have you ever noticed just how many taxes are added to your phone bill? I use The Neighborhood, Built By MCI. I get all my local, toll local and long distance bundled in one package for one flat price. That cost is $49.99, let’s just say $50. And then an additional $16.94 for various federal, state and local taxes, and to include this Federal Universal Service Fee (a subsidy program the rural carriers now make a killing off of), and a Network Access Surcharge. That’s roughly a 34% tax for having a telephone.

Then I look at my wireless bill from Cingular. On my total combined plan rate for all my minutes and features, I’m paying $89 per month while the taxes are $8.45, which equates to less than 10%. What gives?