Lawmakers Question Use of 911 Surcharge Funding

11:02 PM, Jun 11, 2012   |    comments
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BUFFALO, NY - The state imposed 911 wireless surcharge found on your cell phone bills is now the focus of two state lawmakers from Western New York.

State Senator Mark Grisanti and Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak are pushing a measure which they say will make sure that more than half of the funding from the $1.20 tax on a cell phone bill goes to county governments.

That surcharge is supposed to generate $1.2 Billion dollars which could be used by local governments to make improvements in their emergency communications systems - mainly upgrading their 911 call centers.  The lawmakers say that the need is the greatest in the rural areas of New York.

Grisanti says that's not happening right now despite the intention of those lawmakers who set up the original surcharge.

"For the most part the money is being used as has been in years past, it's being swept and it's being used for other purposes. So, what this legislation will do is earmark it and make sure that the money that's collected is going for its intended purpose and where it's supposed to go," said Grisanti.

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