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Taxachusetts & The Cell Phone

It's time for a new cell phone. My two-year contract is up and my phone has been a disaster for months. It won't work unless it's plugged in. Really.  Kinds or negates the entire idea of a cell phone, doesn't it?  I tried contacting RIM, the people who make Blackberry. A friend helped me get contact information. When I finally reached someone, I was told to write to the address she gave me. So I wrote to the e-mail address, explained my problem. And back came an automated reply: in short, they don't respond to e-mail.  Useless, as far as I'm concerned, both the phone and a company that doesn't seem to care about it's customers.

I'm not huge on being disturbed wherever I am. I don't text. If you need to reach me, e-mail and phone work just fine. But the notepad, etc., on the phone were handy. When the phone wasn't dead. So, it's time for a new phone.  And then came the news report on television.  While in the midst of the reports of the release of the new iPhone, came a report on something the MA legislature had done in JULY. I don't remember anyone asking the MA residents about this. Wait for it:

If you buy a cell phone with a 2-year agreement (and who doesn't in order to cut down on the price of the phone?!), if you pay, for example $200. for a $400. phone, you will be charged STATE TAX on the FULL price of the phone even though that's NOT what you paid!  Fair?  No!  Definitely not. No explanation, just another tax on top of all the others that MA residents are being forced to pay.  Any way around it? Well, pay the full price of the phone without a contract and still pay the full tax, or drive over the border to New Hampshire where there is no tax. How much you will save depends, of course, on the price of the cell phone, the price of gas for the drive, and how far you live from the New Hampshire border.

Add that to all of our other taxes and MUSTS, like mandatory health insurance, high real estate tax, high auto insurance, skyrocketing fuel prices for home heating oil, high electric and water bills and on and on it goes.  We are being taxed to death.  It goes hand-in-hand with all those give-away programs that aren't free for the taxpayers.  Enough is enough. I don't know where it ends.  I really don't.  It is impossible to save any money. Breaking even is now considered being ahead of the game in Massachusetts. 

Cell phones taxed more than what we pay for them. Really? Did you HAVE to?