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Cell phone tax for 911 funding in House

JEFFERSON CITY – Missouri, the last state to tax cell phones for statewide 911 operations, now has proposed bill on the House floor Tuesday, March 11.

A tax on 911 calls has only been implemented on land-line phone calls in the state. Decreases in land lines in homes has also impacted funding for 911 services. As a result, there are numerous counties in Missouri in which 911 calls cannot be made.

Rep. Jeanie Lauer, R-Jackson County, the bill’s sponsor, said “pick any highway” and on it there will be an area where 911 services cannot be reached.

The bill would impose a $1.50 tax on 911 cell phone calls that last 10 minutes or more, or on phone calls that cost $5 or more on a prepaid cell phone.

Lauer said this bill differs from its predecessors in that it will be voted on by county, as opposed to being put on the statewide ballot, where it has been rejected twice in the past.

The House’s final reading and passage of this bill has not been scheduled.

 

– Emma Nicolas, MPA News Service

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