Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Bill would impose fee of 93 cents on prepaid phones for 911

(AP) — People who purchase prepaid cellphones would pay an extra fee of 93 cents to support local 911 systems under a bill that has cleared a House committee.

Local governments operate emergency 911 services. They pay for them with money collected from a fee on phone services, including landlines and cellphones. Cellphone customers with two-year contracts pay a fee of 70 cents per month. But people who purchase prepaid phones pay less.

A bill that cleared the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee would impose a flat fee of 93 cents on prepaid customers. The higher fee accounts for the fact that, on average, prepaid customers purchase phone cards nine times a year instead of 12 times.

Retailers oppose the bill, arguing it would cost them too much money.