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July 7, 2017 - 10:45am

County moving forward legislation to allow surcharge on disposable mobile phones

posted by Maria Pericozzi in cell phones, news, batavia.

Most mobile phone users pay a surcharge that goes to county government, but that surcharge hasn't been paid by about a quarter of mobile phone users -- those who buy phones with month-to-month fees rather than with sign a contract with a carrier.

A public hearing will be held at 5:30 p.m. on July 12 at the Old Courthouse in Batavia on a law that would repeal the current wireless communications surcharge and impose new surcharges on disposable phones.

County Manager Jay Gsell said in an interview with WBTA, the change would offer new revenues for the county governments and State of New York.

“Those who are going from established plans where they sign up for contracts through typical carriers now go to a month-to-month disposable phone kind of thing,” Gsell said. “They will see the change in terms of how much that device will cost them because of the 30-cent surcharge.”

With the new law, the county and state would collect from approximately 25 percent of cell phone users who prefer prepaid or month-to-month cel lphone plans.

The money collected will provide funding for local and statewide emergency service communication systems.

“It appears that it would be more equitable for everyone who is using these devices and therefore would come in contact with our 9-1-1 centers,” Gsell said. “They would also be helping pay for a portion of the state revenue distribution that goes out for us operating these public safety answering forums, [also known as] 9-1-1 centers.”

Ed Hartgrove
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"With the new law, the county and state would collect from approximately 25 percent of cell phone users who prefer prepaid or month to month cellphone plans."

Which leads me to wonder. Just how much are NY "lawmakers" paid to contrive new ways to motivate people to move out of state?

Apparently, they've never heard the old adage, "Don't bite the hand that feeds you".

Cheryl Wilmet
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This is just ridiculous. Don't they realize that most people have to get monthly phones because they can't afford cell phone plans that are high priced? So a plan that costs $50.00 per month will have $.30 surcharge? It might not seem like a lot but the way we are taxed for every little thing adds up. Lawmakers get paid a lot to figure out what else they can tax us for.

Billie Owens
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A comment was deleted for foul language.

John Roach
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This is not the State coming up with this idea. It's the County Legislature. Don't agree with the idea, go and speak up at the Public Hearing.

Howard B. Owens
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Tim Miller
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So why should folks on monthly plans pay for emergency services communications while folks who use pre-paid or month-to-month services not pay?

It may be a cash grab, but in this situation there is an equity factor involved.

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