Missouri Lawmakers Consider 911 Cell Phone Tax

Missouri is the only state without a statewide fee or tax for wireless 911 service.


KANSAS CITY, Mo. --

Missouri lawmakers are considering a proposal that would allow local governments to add a tax to your monthly cell phone bill.

The measure, pending before a House committee, would let local governments add a charge of up to 75 cents to cell phone users’ monthly bills to pay for local 911 call center operations.

KMBC's Justin Robinson reported that Missouri is the only state without a statewide fee or tax for wireless 911 service.

Emergency dispatch officials said increasing numbers of cell phone users are burdening their dispatch systems without paying for the systems’ upkeep.

Those centers have been funded by a tax on landlines, but as more people transition to cell phones, the tax revenue has fallen steadily.

Current law allows local governments to charge a monthly tax on landlines of up to 75 cents.

Statewide voters have twice rejected ballot measures to raise taxes for 911 service, most recently in 2002.

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