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North Country News
Thu September 20, 2012
Counties Calling for Redistribution of 911-Surcharge Funds
Franklin County legislators are considering a resolution to support state legislation that sets the percentage of distribution of the 911 surcharge to counties and the state.
Counties across New York State have been arguing with state officials for years over the distribution of money that is collected from cell phone users. The 911 surcharge, intended to support 911 call centers, has been charged since 1991. In 2002 the charge increased from seventy cents to a dollar-twenty. Where the money goes has been an on-going issue, according to New York State Association of Counties Deputy Director Mark LaVigne.
The counties want more funds, LaVigne explains, because they are responsible for the emergency call centers.
Legislation has been proposed in Albany that would set the allocation from the surcharge between the state and counties. Franklin County legislators are considering a resolution urging passage of the bills. The Association of Counties’ Mark LaVigne notes that if passed, it would mean a more even distribution of the money.
The proposed legislation in the Senate and Assembly would allocate 58-percent of 911 surcharges to counties for emergency call centers, and about 41-percent to the state and state police.