Originally created 08/16/98

Blasts 'hidden' taxes on phone bill 081698 - The Augusta Chronicle

The following is not an anti-telephone company letter.

I have reviewed my BellSouth telephone bill for July and have finally reached the boiling point. An analysis of this bill is astounding.From my own experience, it would be a waste of time to contact any government bureaucracy.

There are seven line-item charges (none having to do with the services I receive) showing some government entity with their hands in my pocket. These seven include: Taxes (fill-in-the-blank), charges and services. My basic service charge of $16.40 balloons to $21.94 after tacking on the above add-ons. If governments were honest, they would simply call them a tax. These add-ons work out to a tax rate of 34 percent. This is an out-of-control taxing frenzy!

On further analysis, the add-ons for long distance calls, having a less severe tax, brings the overall tax rate down to only 26.75 percent on all the services I receive. Additionally galling is that the federal and state governments "tax" the "tax."

Here's an example of a "new" line-item add-on, thanks to our friends in Washington. It's called a "Universal ConnectivityCharge" of 93 cents (plus tax). This money is supposedly to be used to connect public schools, libraries, etc. to the Internet if they don't want to pay for it themselves. In the name of common sense, why should I have to pay for this? If "Santa Claus," Ind., or "Santa Claus," Ga., want it, let them pay for it! I'm not their namesake.

Then there is the "hidden" tax companies must collect to pay their taxes. This is not faulting businesses, but they actually pay no taxes. If you buy their products or services, you pay their taxes.

The career politicians, bureaucrats and political hacks have had it their way for a long, long time. When will "we the people" wake up? My guess is never!

William Shackelford, North Augusta


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