iPhone 3GS + Taxation = GRRRRRR.

Ok, first, I am going to save my rant on the ridiculousness of taxes in California in general until I have more time to actually read up on stuff so I’m not just ranting without being fully educated on the issue. 

But what concerns me at the moment is that I just ordered the new iPhone (I’ve actually been wanting one for a few months now, and luckily waited until the newest one came out).  The sales price was listed at $199, but what was I charged for “sales tax”?  $55.  I was totally confused.  California Sales Tax is high (9.25%).  But 25%? Seriously?  So I called AT&T totally expecting an error, and no.  There was no error.  According to AT&T, California has decided to tax people on the full retail price of the phone.  That makes NO sense to me.  When you go to the mall, and you buy something on sale, you don’t pay sales tax on the full price.  You pay tax on the sale price. 

Now, I’m sure CA is using some rationale along the lines of “AT&T is spreading the real cost over the terms of the 2-yr contract.”  But, we are also taxed out the wazoo with cell phone taxes on each month’s bill already.  I don’t know if I’m supposed to be mad at CA (for charging tax on the full price) or AT&T (for passing the extra amount on to customers).   But I do know that this seems incredibly unfair and just not right.


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