by Pamela Villarreal, Kyle Buckley
National Center for Policy Analysis
November 26, 2013
Texas consumers of telecom and wireless services continue to face a heavy tax burden that varies widely from city to city. The 10 most populous Texas cities generated more than $300 million in fee and tax revenue from cable television and telephone services in 2011. The average effective tax rate (AETR) on cable television ranged from 14.13 percent in San Antonio to 14.25 percent in most of the top 10 cities. The AETR for a fixed-line phone ranged from 21.79 percent in San Antonio to 27.16 percent in Arlington. The tax treatment of the Texas telecom industry is far from equitable. Non-satellite cable providers are subject to a cable/video franchise fee that is not required of satellite cable providers.