Local Matters

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

May 17, 2010 - 10:21pm

Mobile phone surcharge not funding emergency dispatch as intended, Sheriff says

posted by Howard B. Owens in Sheriff's Office, Gary Maha, Emergency Dispatch.

If you have a mobile phone in New York, each month you pay a $1.20 surcharge for "New York State Public Safety" that you might think goes to pay for emergency dispatch.

If you think that, you're mistaken, according to Sheriff Gary Maha.

Last year, the surcharge generated $210 million in revenue, of which about $9 million was allocated to dispatch centers.

The balance of the fund, Maha said, goes straight into the state's General Fund for any number of non-law-enforcement related purposes.

Last year, Genesee County -- which spends $2 million each year to operate its dispatch center -- received just $38,000 from this fund.

“We need to keep the pressure on the state that this money should be used for what it’s intended for and not used to pay for general fund expenses," Maha told the County's Public Safety Committee today.

The committee passed a draft resolution to send to the State Legislature asking them to use the money according to its intended purposes.

The fund used to be called the 9-1-1 Surcharge, but even with the "public safety" label, the revenue is rarely being used to pay for public safety expenses, Maha said.

There is also a county-collected 35-cent surcharge on landlines for the dispatch center. But increasingly, people are abandoning landlines in favor of mobile phones, cutting down significantly on the amount of revenue this fund generates, Maha said.

Governor Paterson has proposed that $50 million from the surcharge monies, or about 21 percent, be made available to county 9-1-1 centers, Maha said.

The proposal has met with stiff opposition in the State Legislature.

The State Assembly proposes that only $8 million above last year's $9.3 million funding be provided to county 9-1-1 centers. Many think that the Legislature will take all of these monies to help fill the approximately $9 billion budget deficit facing the state, Maha said.

Mark Potwora
Mark Potwora's picture
Offline
Last seen: 20 hours 19 min ago
Joined: May 14 2008 - 6:42pm
Steve Hawley get on this....
John Roach
John Roach's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 35 min ago
Joined: May 29 2008 - 5:22am
Big surprise, the majority took the tax money intended for a specific purpose, and wasted it again.
william tapp
william tapp's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 2 months ago
Joined: May 9 2008 - 8:38am
Steve Hawley not going to do any thing lol what a joke.vote out all incumbents, there all worthless.
John Roach
John Roach's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 35 min ago
Joined: May 29 2008 - 5:22am
In the City of Batavia today, there is a school board election. We should start there.
Karen Miconi
Karen Miconi's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 years 12 months ago
Joined: Feb 5 2009 - 4:48pm
Here we go with the "General Fund" business again. Is this just a vacation fund for Government Officials?? Every time this is brought up, it "Screams Foul Play" to me. Why dont they hold city, state, and county officials accountable? Make It Your Business People! Do a "Study" into the paper trail, and dispersement of funds. It doesn't take a rocket scientist, or $58,000 to complete, like the nursing home study.
What are we going to do, John? You can't vote out people when there is no competition.
Bob Harker
Bob Harker's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 9 months ago
Joined: Aug 20 2009 - 3:12pm
For me, the scariest part is that it doesn't surprise me. Pretty much business as usual - just like lottery money being used for schools, thruway tolls for road maintenance, etc., etc.
Dave Olsen
Dave Olsen's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 3 days ago
Joined: Oct 12 2008 - 11:48am
Now granted, I'm not too smart, so I may not be getting this right. If you look at sections 5&6 of this law: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/nycode/TAX/9/186-f, my impression is that if $210,000.00 is collected (from Howard's post) 41.7% is to be deducted off the top to go to the general fund, then 25.5 million goes to the State Police, 1.5 million to the Emergency Services Revolving Loan Fund, and 10 mill to the counties. All that adds up to 124.5 million dollars. Sheriff Maha is saying that an additional $85.5 mill. goes into the general fund plus the 41.7% (or $87.5 million) they are taking off the top? That's a total of $173 million or 82%. What a rip-off. They'll probably want to raise the tax, if they ever get a budget agreement. $ 1.20 a month doesn't seem like much, and for me it's not even the point. The point is the gross mismanagement of public funds, and the fact that if you want a cell phone, you have to pay this tax. People, please, this constant pillaging has to stop, pay attention come election day.
Karen Miconi
Karen Miconi's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 years 12 months ago
Joined: Feb 5 2009 - 4:48pm
Whats even more interesting, is that the one thing that is complete in the state budget, 7% raises. Yup thats right, RAISES FOR THEMSELVES. It was on the news last night. Money grabbin scoundrals!! Oh and theres more than just 1 tax, on our cellphone bills. Read it and weep....
Dave, That has always been the problem here. You're dead on, but here is my question. We all keep talking about this November, but I have yet to really see, across the state, many people stepping up and out. I have never spoken to CM at all, and I have agreed and disagreed with him on here more than a few times, but I am willing to hear his positions when he fully announces. Although according to another post, he already has a campaign email address. Let's see.
Neil Richardson
Neil Richardson's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 3 months ago
Joined: Sep 9 2009 - 3:28am
Well, this is absolutely not right. Either the consumers need to be reimbursed or the dispatchers should get all of the money right away. This is a crying shame that this is happening.

online casino

We can gamble as often as we want at an online casino if we live far away from casinos of if we just would rather gamble from home.

Jeremiah Pedro
Jeremiah Pedro's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 2 months ago
Joined: Feb 17 2010 - 9:27am
None of the money collected from this 1.20 tax should go anywhere near the general fund. This is a misrepresentation by our state government.
Gabor Deutsch
Gabor Deutsch's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 25 min ago
Joined: May 24 2008 - 4:16pm
I can see why people are choosing not to have a land line phone. NY State/Local Sales Tax (4.26) 911 Surcharge (.35) Federal USF Surcharge (.98) USF-Long Distance (1.14) Surcharge(s) (1.32) FCC Line Charge (6.41) Total Taxes and Fees (14.12)
DOUGLAS MCCLURG
DOUGLAS MCCLURG's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Jul 9 2008 - 10:45am
"Revolution or Evolution"--that latter Is working the wrong way!!
Mary E DelPlato
Mary E DelPlato's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: Jul 29 2008 - 4:50pm
why dont they just put this under wat it truly is..just another tax
Mary E DelPlato
Mary E DelPlato's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: Jul 29 2008 - 4:50pm
if the powers that be have any common sense like the rest of us they would make cuts across the board and we all know that... not cut jobs so ppl workin can still contribute to the economy(hopefully not buying chinese)but just decrease the pay more decrease the more u make... I would take a cut in my pay to keep my job...Greedy SOBs
Mary E DelPlato
Mary E DelPlato's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: Jul 29 2008 - 4:50pm
When are we going to have actual people running things and now these yahoos with red noses and clown outfits?
Karen Miconi
Karen Miconi's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 years 12 months ago
Joined: Feb 5 2009 - 4:48pm
Verizon Cell Phone Charges Per Month Monthly Access Charge- 9.99 Fed. Universal Service Charge- .33 Regulatory Charge- .07 Administrative Charge- .92 Gross Recipt Charge- .31 NY Public Safety Commission Surcharge- 1.20 Genesee County 911 Surcharge- .30 Ny State Sales Tax- .46 Genesee County Sales Tax- .46 Batavia School District Tax- .35 Usage Charges Voice 3.98 Data 5.98 Monthly Access Charge- 110.97 TOTAL Charges Monthly 150.73 What A Racket!!
Jeremiah Pedro
Jeremiah Pedro's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 2 months ago
Joined: Feb 17 2010 - 9:27am
Why is that state broke again? It can't be from lack of income.
bud prevost
bud prevost's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 25 min ago
Joined: Jan 11 2009 - 9:12pm
"Usage Charges Voice 3.98 Data 5.98" Karen- you could save $10 by staying off web, and not using 411 info. And I wholeheartedly agree. Racket is just one of many descriptions. "Why is that state broke again? It can't be from lack of income. " Jeremiah- it's because there is TOO MUCH administration and PISS POOR management of money and authority. This tax has been collected non-stop since at least 2002. It's stated purpose was to enhance the ability for 911 to locate you via your phone. It was supposedly specific for that. Obviously not. BTW, I worked for a long time in the wireless business, and Batavia was the first place I ever saw that was sneaky and greedy enough to actually have a school district tax!
John Roach
John Roach's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 35 min ago
Joined: May 29 2008 - 5:22am
Jeremiah, We're broke because the majority of people want something for nothing. And they elect people who will give it to them. Once people find they can vote themselves goodies from the public treasury, it's hard to stop.

Post new comment

Log in or register to post comments

Calendar

S M T W T F S
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31
 
 

Copyright © 2008-2019 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
 

blue button