Kentucky Local Leaders Urge Legislators to Increase Wireless Phone Fees to Cover 911 Costs

The Kentucky League of Cities and Association of Counties are urging state lawmakers to increase the user fees on wireless phones to pay for local 911 emergency operations centers. 

The fee has been the same for the past 15 years, says Tyler Campbell of the KLC.

“The 70 cent statewide wireless 911 user fee has not changed since 1998,” Campbell says. “And I think it’s important to note the aim of that is not to capture new revenue, but really to recapture funds that have been lost as more and more subscribers move from wire lines to wireless devices.”

Shelby County Judge Executive  Rob Rothenberger told a legislative panel in Frankfort last week that his county has lost $140,000  from assessments on land lines to fund 911 services over the past five years. Shelby County received $19,000 from fees on wireless phones. 

“We didn’t think it was a very fair trade losing $140,000 a year and gaining $19,000 a year,” says Rothenberger, who is also his county's 911 director.

Rothenberger says local governments are finding it increasingly difficult to fund their 911 centers as more people make the switch from land line phones to wireless.

Kentucky hasn’t raised its 911 fee for wireless users since 1998.

(Image via Shutterstock)

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