COLUMN: Cell phone charges: New York’s growing tax

As can been seen, when government (especially in NYS) gets a tax stream, it is never temporary and inevitably over the years it increases. For illustration, one simply has to look at the tolls on the New York thruway. The number of cell phone users has grown significantly. In 1997, there were 48.7 million cell phones in the United States. In 2012, there were 321.7 million nationwide, according to the Tax Foundation. Because of additional users, revenues from these taxes continues to increase. For government, this revenue is addicting. While establishing a dedicated funding source for projects very often makes sense, too often these taxes are diverted to the general fund and the taxes never seem to go away even after the original project for which the tax was initially established is completed. Our state should use taxes for their dedicated purpose. If that purpose no longer exists, it should give the public back its money.

If you have any questions or comments on this or any other state issue, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, please contact my office. My office can be reached by mail at 200 N. Second St., Fulton, New York 13069, by email at barclaw@assembly.state.ny.us or by calling 598-5185.

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