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Department of Taxation and Finance

Wireless communications surcharge

Beginning June 1, 2021, Columbia County is imposing a local surcharge rate of $.30 on wireless communications services. For more information, see WCS-21-1, Columbia County Imposes Wireless Communications Surcharge Rate Effective June 1, 2021.


You are a prepaid wireless communications seller if you make retail sales of prepaid wireless communications services.

Prepaid wireless communications services include:

  • mobile phones or mobile phone cards (including refill or recharge authorization codes) preloaded with a set dollar amount or number of minutes,
  • reloads of mobile phones or mobile phone cards with additional minutes, and
  • cards, PINs, or codes that give access to only texting services.

Any prepaid phone card that can be used on a mobile phone to make or receive calls is a prepaid wireless communications service. For example, long distance or international calling cards that can be used on both landlines and mobile phones are subject to the surcharge.

You are a postpaid wireless communications service supplier if you:

  • are a facilities-based carrier or a reseller;
  • provide wireless communications services to customers on a recurring basis or pursuant to a contract; and
  • have one or more wireless communications customers in New York State.

Wireless communications services include all commercial mobile services which offer real-time, two-way voice or data service that is interconnected with the public switched telephone network or otherwise provides access to emergency communications services.

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