Letters

TAX ON CELLPHONES PROVOKES STICKER SHOCK | Letters

Hunger for revenues doesn’t justify overcharging consumers

IN ITS editorial “Tax should reflect full cost’’ (Jan. 19), the Globe contended that it was reasonable to charge consumers sales tax on the full regular price of cellphones, rather than on the deeply discounted price that is actually paid. I disagree, and believe this practice is unfair.

It is commonly known that cellphone companies subsidize the discounted price of their phones by requiring customers to sign contracts that spread the real cost of the phones over a two-year period.

Advertisement

That cost, an extra $10 or $15 a month, is embedded in the monthly fee and is subject to state, local, and federal taxes and fees that amount to 12.9 percent.

To also charge the 6.25 percent state sales tax up front is to double-charge the customer. This would be like requiring customers who put an item on layaway to pay the full sales tax up front, and then collecting the same tax again on each monthly installment payment.

Get Arguable with Jeff Jacoby in your inbox:
Our conservative columnist offers a weekly take on everything from politics to pet peeves.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

The state may be hard up for tax revenue, but that is no justification to overcharge consumers.

Edgar Dworsky

Somerville

Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com