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Do We Need Another Cellphone Charge?

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You’ll find lots of taxes and surcharges on your cell phone bill and now a Niagara County lawmaker wants to add another one.

Pre-paid cell phones purchased in Niagara County would be subject to an additional fee of 30 cents under a proposal by a Niagara County legislator.  It would help pay for 9-1-1 upgrades that are supposed to be paid for by other fees and surcharges that people with regular cell phone contracts are charged.  If you look at your cell phone bill there’s already a $1.20 surcharge that’s supposed to pay for those services and upgrades, but somehow instead they find their way into the state’s general fund.  Isn’t that funny how government works?  

The 30 cents seems to be insignificant, but it would mainly target low-income families who can’t afford cellphone contracts.  For them, every penny is crucial.

As cellphone technology continues to evolve, many areas of the state have outdated equipment and the fees already in place aren’t paying for the upgrades.  At least in Niagara County there would be a dedicated source for it.

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