July 07, 2009

Expensive Phone Bill? Excess 911 Fees Stack Up

The Independence Institute's Todd Shepherd uncovers the excessive fee revenues generated by 911 tariffs that form a large portion of your costly monthly phone bill:
Suppose you choose a monthly cell phone plan that will charge you $59.99 every month. So how in the world does your final bill end up being closer to $70? 911 tariffs account for a portion of that final increase.

But 911 taxing authorities in Colorado appear to be consistently collecting anywhere from 20 to 50 percent or more in excess revenues annually, and these excess revenues are never returned to the public, and the tariffs are rarely lowered.
. . .
“It would appear that most of these 911 agencies have already bankrolled the capital they need for the changes and upgrades that they have on the horizon,” said Jon Caldara, President of the Independence Institute. “And given their track-record of over-collecting, it would seem that these taxes could still be lowered, without hampering their future projects or without threatening their reserves needed to deal with contingencies.
A detailed comparison of the various counties' revenues and expenditures can be found in the report.

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