State Lawmakers Propose A New Way To Fund 911
by Mark Bellinger
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - State lawmakers are proposing a new way to fund 911. Cell phone, internet and land line customers would all pay the same monthly rate.
The change is necessary because of complaints about 911 systems losing revenue. People are giving up their land lines in favor of newer technology, so 9-1-1 districts are losing revenue.
The systems have been charging higher fees for land line phones than the state has been collecting for cell phones.
"The times they are a changing and the technology is racing ahead of the funding system that we have had in place to provide emergency communications," said Senator Mark Norris of Collierville.
State lawmakers are proposing a standard monthly fee for everyone. It would be $1.16 per month. Right now the state collects $1 a month from cell phone users. 911 districts can charge up to $1.50 for land lines.
The bill passed committees in both houses today.
"It provides a stable funding formula which districts have to be able to continue providing the level of service that Tennesseans enjoy," said Hamilton County 911 Director John Stuermer.
The 911 legislation is revenue neutral, which means it doesn't raise any extra money.
State lawmakers say in the future they'll evaluate the amount of the surcharge and make changes if necessary.
If it passes you'll see the charge on your phone bill in January.