If seen to fruition, the new law will add a 75-cent monthly tax to Missouri resident’s mobile phone bills. However, while everyone hates new tax, the reasons behind it seem somewhat legitimate, as the tax will go to fund 911 emergency services.
Some taxes are already in place and according to St Louis, St Charles, and Jefferson county 911 call centres, the tax you are seeing goes to the wireless companies for infrastructure, not towards the support and maintenance of 911 services.
In the USA, Missouri is now the only state that does not charge a 911 state tax. While residents in Jefferson and St Louis counties have agreed to a tax rise to fund 911 services, other counties are still relying on landline surcharges and other county-based funding. However, it is not enough, those counties say. St Charles says it is lacking the $1.5 million it needs just for software upgrades.
The emergency services are something we all take for granted as being there in time of great need. While the idea of yet another tax hike and another 75 cents on your mobile phone bill at the end of each month is not pleasant, having an emergency service running short on resources at the time when you need them most is by far the more unpleasant.
How long it will take before similar taxes are introduced in the UK? We can only wait and see, but if it happens, who will refuse to support the emergency services?