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5 Hidden Taxes You Didn’t Know You’re Paying

by Chloe Anagos, Taxrevolution:

Americans are being taxed in ways that many don’t even notice. Commonly referred to as “hidden taxes,” these tolls are built into the cost of certain products. Often, these taxes don’t even appear on a bill or receipt. Here are some of the five most common hidden taxes:

(1) Alcohol

In 2012, the federal government collected almost $10 billion in taxes from the purchase of wine, beer, and other spirits. According to the Tax Foundation, Washington has the highest spirit excise-tax rate at $33.54 per gallon. Followed closely in rates are Oregon, Virginia, and Alabama. The lowest are found in Wyoming and New Hampshire where government-run stores don’t typically rely on taxes and impose markups instead.

Listed in the “Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2015 to 2024” from the Congressional Budget Office, increasing all taxes on alcoholic beverages to $16 per proof gallon would increase the tax on a six-pack of beer from 33 cents to 81 cents. The tax on a bottle of wine would increase from about 21 cents to 70 cents.

(2) Cell phones

Have you ever looked at the taxes listed on your cell phone bill? According to a study from the Tax Foundation, the average customer pays more than 18 percent in taxes and fees on their wireless bill, which is several times more than state sales-tax rates. In fact, American consumers pay around $17 billion in wireless taxes, fees, and other surcharges combined.

The states with the highest cell phone taxes and fees are Washington, Nebraska, and New York while Oregon, Nevada, and Idaho have the lowest, respectively.

(3) Cigarettes

Cigarettes are taxed similarly to alcohol.

Signed in 2009, the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act raised the federal tax rate for cigarettes from 39 cents per pack to $1.01. This tax was used to increase insurance coverage under the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. Currently, cigarettes are the most expensive in Chicago. The city tax, plus Cook County’s tax, plus Illinois’ state tax comes out to $6.16. (And that doesn’t even include the actual cost of a pack!)

(4) Gas


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1 comment to 5 Hidden Taxes You Didn’t Know You’re Paying

  • Craig Escaped Detroit

    Luckily, it is possible to become a lot more independent and pay fewer taxes. If you smoke or drink, you can grow your own, you can make your own booze.

    My own situation, is that when I finally become independent of the power grid (solar panels, etc), I’ll be saving the $26 monthly “meter fee”.

    That’s $312/year. I could buy diesel fuel or kerosene with that money, or buy another 700 watts of solar panels each year for FREE. If I buy an “electric car” (plug-in hybrid), I could use my extra solar electricity to CHARGE up the car and drive for FREE without having to buy any fuel or pay for any electricity to charge it up. Look at your utility bills and add up all the taxes and fees that are not “energy”.

    It is “partly possible” to carry a cellphone, and cancel your “service” but still use it with some “apps” that are known as “voice over i.p” (VOIP= such as Skype and other apps that works over the internet data to connect you to other people and for even to connect you to LAND lines or active mobiles..sometimes for a small “fee” and other services are 100% FREE.)

    The BIG drawback with a “Wi-Fi” phone service, is that it only works when it catches a “wi-fi” signal, either at your own house “wi-fi” router, or places like malls, libraries, restaurants, shops, or offices that give free wi-fi.

    If I was to have a “wi-fi” phone and leave it at my house, it would be functioning like a “land line”, but freely doing it with my home’s internet router-wi-fi. Not having cellphone service would be a bit of a hassle, but I could live ok. We didn’t have cellphones for over 60 years. We all used to rely on “land lines”.

    Or, use your phone as a “wifi” phone, but also have a “Sim card” with some minutes available on it, so you can make calls when you cannot get a wifi signal.

    I already live without cable or satellite TV by using a “streaming box” and never miss out on any kind of TV viewing.

    I do miss “the good old days” when most families were using “unsecured” (wide open) WiFi routers and I was able to MOOCH all my internet for about 5 years! Hahaha. As more people turned on their passwords and “free” signals got harder to find, I installed a “long range wifi” antenna just underneath my TV antenna on the roof, and it was all operated by a “rotor” that I could turn my “TV & WiFi” antenna in any direction to find signals. I extended my “FREE MOOCHING” by another 3 years or more. Those days are gone unless I get a big enough “directional” wifi antenna that could connect with some store, restaurant or library signal in town. (legally, of course).

    I already have my own septic tank and well water, so I don’t have to pay any water/sewer bills (and the taxes either). I keep enough “jugs of drinking water” around, so that if & when my well breaks down, I can survive ok for about a month while I’m waiting for parts or getting it repaired. I’ve been here since about 2007 and nothing big broke (yet).

    I did replace the bladder tank and installed a tankless electric water heater ($200 from Ebay), big enough to run 2 faucets at the same time- 60A breaker, etc. Installed it when I moved in, because the old 30 gallon tank sprung a leak as soon as I moved in.

    If anybody needs to buy a “new” water heater, the electric one I got, is known as a “TITAN” N120? Made in USA, and they sell them even NOW for just $220 or $230. The gas models, can be found for about $400. I refused to buy the “big brand names” that cost over a thousand bucks.

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