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Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - 12:58pm

Locals Push For 911 Fees

Cities and counties are losing millions in fees intended to boost 911 call centers. Now, there's a legislative push to get that money back into local coffers.

At issue are fees from sales of prepaid cell phones and packages of minutes bought to restock those phones.  The extra $1.50 charge is supposed to go to technology upgrades for emergency call centers.

But in recent years, money from those fees has gone into the state’s general fund during tough budget times.

House Bill 256 would change that says Beth Brown.  She’s with the Association of County Commissioners.

“Sort of like a sales tax where fees would be collected at point-of-sale, and then remitted to the Department of Revenue.  And then allocated back to the counties and cities for 911.”

Brown says it’s a public safety issue if call centers don’t get the money that’s intended for them.  She says local municipalities have had to cover some 911 costs from their own lean budgets. 

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