Cell Phone Tax Implemented on 911 Calls

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COLUMBIA - A new tax may soon be a part of emergency phone calls.

Tuesday, Missouri's House of Representatives passed a tax on 911 cell phone calls.

If a 911 cell phone call lasts more than 10 minutes, the caller would be charged $1.50.

If the bill passes in the Senate, the tax then must be approved in each county rather than on a statewide ballot. The bill has been rejected the last two times Legislature took the statewide approach.

Joint Communications Manager Joe Piper said Boone County already has a tax implemented for this type of funding but many other Missouri counties do not.

"There are a number of counties in Missouri that currently have very limited or no funding for the 911 service," Piper said. "If passed, this would fund that service in those communties."

The bill would make Missouri the final state to tax cell phones for 911 calls.

There will be a fiscal review Thursday.

(Editor's note: This story has been edit to eliminate the word "sales" before "tax.")