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Understanding Your Charter Bill - Taxes and Fees

Total Taxes, Fees and Charges will appear on your billing statement under the summary and will be broken out for you by services (i.e. TV, Internet and Phone) under the Taxes, Fees and Charges section on your billing statement. You may see taxes, which are applied to all services, appear once in each category (example state sales tax).

A special note regarding Phone taxes - Government agencies have found phone bills to be an effective way to assess and collect taxes because the majority of people receive one. These taxes may subsidize various services at the federal, state and local levels (i.e. emergency services, telecommunications services for schools, libraries, health care facilities, etc.). Charter and other companies offering telephone service collect the required taxes as part of the total phone bill and send the appropriate amounts back to the taxing agency.

To look up tariff information by state, please click on the following link:

Tariff Information

Please click on one of the following links for more information about that fee:

Fees / Surcharges

Broadcast TV Surcharge

Federal law allows local U.S. broadcast television stations (i.e., affiliates of networks such as CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, etc.) to negotiate with cable and satellite providers in order to obtain "consent" to carry their broadcast signals (Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992).

As a direct result of local broadcast, or "network-affiliated," TV stations increasing the rates to Charter to distribute their signals to our customers, we will be passing those charges on as a Broadcast TV Surcharge, in the Taxes and Fees section of the billing statement. These local TV signals were historically made available to Charter at no cost, or low cost. However, in recent years the prices demanded by local broadcast TV stations have necessitated that we pass these costs on to customers.

Click here for additional information:  www.Charter.com/broadcast-tv-surcharge

Business License Fee

This is a fee or tax assessed on Charter for doing business in your state or locality.

California Advanced Services Fund (California only)

This fee subsidizes the cost of providing broadband Internet service by telephone companies in rural, high cost areas in California.

California High Cost Fund-A (California only)

This fee subsidizes telephone service in 14 rural, high cost areas in California.

California High Cost Fund B (California only)

This fee subsidizes telephone service in other rural, high cost areas in California.

CA Relay Service and Communications Devices Fund (California only)

This fee supports telecommunications relay services and necessary communications equipment for the speech and hearing impaired in California.

California Teleconnect Fund (California only)

This fee supports discounts on selected telecommunications services to qualifying schools, libraries, government-owned and operated hospitals and health clinics, and community-based organizations in California.

E911 Charge (9-1-1 fee)

This is a charge imposed by local government to help the cost of 911 service. The customer’s local government determines whether to provide a 911 system. Costs associated with the 911 systems are collected by the phone company through the monthly telephone bill and then paid to the provider of that service.

E911 Equalization Surcharge (9-1-1 equalization fee - Texas only)

A fee used to provide financial support for regions where the 9-1-1 fee does not fully offset the cost of 9-1-1 service. The fee is imposed on each customer receiving intrastate long-distance service.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Fee

This is a fee that Charter must pay to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to cover the cost of the FCC’s regulation of Charter’s cable service.

Federal Universal Service Fund (USF) (Federal Universal Service Fee)

The FCC created the USF. This fee helps to make phone service affordable and available to all Americans, including consumers with low incomes, those living in areas where the costs of providing telephone service is high, public and non-profit schools and libraries serving low income communities, and rural health care providers. Congress mandated that all telephone companies providing interstate service contribute to the Universal Service Fund. A carrier may choose to include this contribution on their customers’ monthly telephone bill.

Line Access

Monthly charge to cover part of Company cost to provide the local network that supports customers' ability to make and receive interstate and international calls.

Line Access Additional Line

Monthly charge to cover part of Company cost to provide the local network that supports customers' ability to make and receive interstate and international calls.

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Franchise Fee

A Franchise Fee is a fee collected by Charter on behalf of your Local Government and Municipality. This fee is paid directly to the Local Government to use the public rights of way when providing Cable Service. The fee is a percentage of the revenues received from providing Cable Services – generally 5%, but can be slightly higher in some areas. According to Federal Law, Cable Operators may pass the entire amount of the Franchise Fee to their customers and itemize the fees on the customers’ monthly bills. Each year Charter reviews the Franchise Fees recovered from customers to ensure the Franchise Fees collected are correct. The amount of the Franchise Fee itemized on your bill varies based on where you live, the level of service you subscribe to, and how many PPV/VOD movies and events ordered in a given month.

Police and Fire Protection Fee (Wisconsin only)

This fee supports the cost of police and fire protection services.

Public Education and Government Channels (PEG) Fee

Cities and Municipalities impose a Public Education and Government Channels (PEG) fee that is collected by Charter in a similar manner as a Franchise Fee. This fee is used to support the City or Municipalities PEG access channels. All monies collected by Charter are passed through to the local municipality and no portion is kept by Charter.

Public access channels are available for use by the general public. They are usually administered either by the cable operator or by a third party designated by the franchising authority.

Educational access channels are used by educational institutions for educational programming. Time on these channels is typically allocated by either the franchising authority or the cable operator among local schools, colleges and universities.
Governmental access channels are used for programming by organs of local government. In most jurisdictions, the franchising authority directly controls these channels.

The monies collected by this fee are used in support of these channels including equipment, training, airtime, etc.

Public Utilities Commission (PUC), Public Service Commission (PSC) or Utility Gross Receipts Fee

The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) or Public Service Commission (PSC) is a state regulatory agency whose responsibilities include oversight of the telecommunications industry for their area. This feesupports the operations of the PUC or PSC. It is assessed upon Charter and passed through to Charter’s customers on a pro rata basis.

For more information or a listing in your area, click here.

Regulatory Cost Fee

This fee recovers federal government charges to support the FCC’s operations and charges to support the telephone number system and telephone number portability.

Returned Item Fee

A returned item fee is assessed when a credit card, debit card, bank account or check payment made to Charter is not honored by the financial institution on which the instrument/electronic funds transfer/debit/credit payment was drawn/applied. Returned item fees may be assessed on checks, electronic funds transactions or debit and credit cards.

A returned item funds fee of up to $25.00 will be assessed for any such returned/rejected payment. Additional charges may apply if further collection activity is required.

State Access Restructure Fund (Michigan only)

This fee was established to provide temporary assistance to rural local exchange carriers due to revenue loss associated with mandated lower intrastate access rates.

State Cost-Recovery Fee (Texas only)

The State Cost-Recovery Fee is not a tax the company is required to collect from its customers by law, but is a charge that is made in order to recoup money paid by the company for taxes imposed on it.

State Regulatory Fee

The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) or Public Service Commission (PSC) is a state regulatory agency whose responsibilities include oversight of the telecommunications industry for their area. This fee supports the operations of the PUC or PSC. It is assessed upon Charter and passed through to Charter’s customers on a pro rata basis.

StateTeach/uw-system/dpi Surcharge (Wisconsin Only)

This surcharge is divided between Technology for Educational Achievement (TEACH), the UW-System, and the Department of Public Instruction BadgerLink Program (DPI).

  • Technology for Educational Achievement (TEACH): Provides state aid for school districts, cooperative educational service agencies, the technical college system board, and the board of regents of the University of Wisconsin system, to promote the efficient, cost-effective procurement, installation, and maintenance of educational technology.
  • UW-System: Provides state aid to fund telecommunication services provided to the University of Wisconsin Systems.
  • Department of Public Instruction BadgerLink Program (DPI): Provides state aid to public library systems and library service contracts.

State Telecommunications Relay Service Charge

This charge provides for a telecommunications relay service, providing full telephone accessibility to people who are hearing impaired or speech disabled. This service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Some states require that all telecommunications providers operating within their borders contribute to the funding of this program. Whether this charge is recovered directly from customers or paid by the telecommunications provider varies from state to state.

State Universal Service Fund

As with the Federal Universal Service Fund, this fee is used to subsidize and ensure affordable local telephone service to certain telephone customers within the state of the consumer. Not all states charge this fee.

Telecommunications Access Fund (TAM – Minnesota only)

This charge is to establish and administer a program to distribute communications devices to eligible communication-impaired persons and to create and maintain a message relay service.

Telecommunications Infrastructure Maintenance Fee (Illinois only)

This fee supports the cost of providing and maintaining utility rights of way in Illinois.

Telephone Assistance Plan (Minnesota and Washington only)

This fee supports affordable telephone service for low income consumers.

Telephone Right Of Way Fee (Municipal right-of-way fee)

A fee used to compensate municipalities for the use of their street rights-of-way for Charter facilities.

TV, Phone and Internet Late Payment Fee

Fee assessed to accounts having an unpaid balance from prior billing period.

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County Sales Tax

The county imposes this sales tax. It is the same sales tax charged on ordinary consumer items. The percentage of tax charged varies from county to county and depends on the county in which the customer lives.

Federal Excise Tax (FET)

Federal tax assessed on basic local service that is billed separately from long distance service.

Gross Receipts Tax

A gross receipts tax is similar to a sales tax, but it is levied on the goods or services sold and in some cases, passed on to the consumer. This tax is only applicable in certain communities.

Local Gross Receipts Tax

A gross receipts tax applied to all phone dial-tone charges. This tax in the City of Grants Pass, Oregon, is 7% applied to each phone line charge on accounts.

Local Sales Tax

This sales tax is imposed by the local jurisdiction, such as a city. It is the same sales tax charged on ordinary consumer items. The percentage of tax charged varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and depends on the jurisdiction in which the customer lives.

State Sales Tax

The state government imposes this sales tax. It is the same sales tax charged on ordinary consumer items. The percentage of tax charged varies from state to state and depends on the state in which the customer lives.

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Disputing a Charge

You must notify our Customer Care Center at (888) 438-2427 within 30 days of your billing date of any billing discrepancies. You may also file a written dispute with Charter at:

Charter Communications
Attention: Customer Complaint
2 Digital Place
Simpsonville, SC 29681

Contacting Customer Service

Chat online.

Customer service can be reached at 1-888-438-2427.

Click here to find the closest Charter Store.

Additional Messages

Telephone Basic Charges - Telephone basic charges are the minimum you must pay in order to maintain your local telephone service. If you do not pay this amount your local service may be disconnected.

Telephone Non-Basic Items- Non-payment of telephone non-basic items will not result in disconnection of your local basic telephone service; however, the service provider will pursue collection of unpaid charges.

Insufficient Funds Payment Policy: If your check, bankcard (debit or credit) charge or other instrument or electronic transfer transaction used to pay us is dishonored, refused, returned unpaid, or otherwise invalid for any reason, a processing fee of $25 will be added to your bill. In addition, we reserve the right to electronically debit the bank account you have on file with us for the amount of the attempted payment, plus the amount of such processing fee, to the full extent permissible under applicable law. Your bank account may be debited for such amounts as early as the same day such initial payment is dishonored, refused or returned.

Billing Practices - The first bill you receive with Charter Communications extends from the first day of service through the first full billing cycle. Therefore your statement may include charges for more than one month. It may also include any one-time charges such as installation, and any credits for payments made at the time of installation. Future service will be billed one month in advance. Charges for Pay-per-view and On DEMAND will appear on the next billing statement following your order. For more information, visit the Support section at www.charter.com and click on "My Account & Billing Help", view the "Bill Understanding" video on your TV through the Help & Services, Self-Help section of Charter On DEMAND, or call us at 1-888-438-2427.

Partial Month Billing - If you recently added or removed services, a "partial month" charge or credit will appear on your statement. This amount reflects the service charge or credit from the date of the change of service through your current billing period. Your new monthly rate is billed one month in advance and is shown separately.

Charter On Demand and Pay-Per-View (PPV): Digital Cable offers enhanced entertainment choices with PPV and Charter On Demand, where available. These services are available to residential customers and enable you to select and order programs from the convenience of your own home. You can order a program through your remote control by selecting Channel 1 or Channel 999 or by calling 1-888-438-2427. Your account must be current. To prevent unauthorized use of these services in your household, you are responsible for setting up a PIN number, parental control and rating preference. Charter Communications will not issue a credit for the following: 1) unauthorized use, 2) if you record a PPV event or movie and are not present to monitor the recording, 3) if you do not call to report a reception problem that occurs during the ordered movie or event, 4) if you do not receive the ordered movie or event and do not call to report the issue.

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