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July 18, 2009 - 10:02pm

Cell-phone tax not supporting 9-1-1 service as intended

posted by Howard B. Owens in taxes, new york, Gary Maha.

Would it surprise anybody that New York has a tax that raises tens of millions of dollars that doesn't go to its intended use?

The buck-twenty you pay every month on your cell phone bill to pay for 9-1-1 service isn't supporting the intention,  according to the Buffalo News.

Genesee County Sheriff Gary Maha is quoted:

“Basically, they’re using that money as general revenue,” said Genesee County Sheriff Gary T. Maha, whose office oversees 911 operations. “We have not seen any of that money.”

With these startling numbers:

The surcharge — raised in 2002 to $1.20 per month — has generated about $600 million over 15 years, but just $84 million has gone to the municipalities that operate 911 centers, the State 911 Coordinators Association found.

bud prevost
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Joined: Jan 11 2009 - 9:12pm
This is absolutely old news. I worked in the wireless industry up till very recently, and we've asked right along why that money goes to the general fund. It's smelled rotten right from the get go. Another BS move I've seen a couple of school districts sneak in... a school district tax on your cell bill!!
Dave Meyer
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Joined: Feb 4 2009 - 5:37am
The Batavia City School district is one of those districts that piles on with this tax. On my last bill it was 67 cents. Maybe not a huge deal, but multiply that by the number of cell phones with addresses in the district and it probably adds up to $100,000 a year (my estimate) that goes into the coffers of the district. Is THAT mentioned in the budget? This district (which has been documented as one of the LEAST efficient in Western New York) doesn't need any more money to waste!

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