How much did the surcharge change?
The surcharge will increase from $0.75 per line/phone per month to $1.90 per line/phone per month effective February 1, 2007.
How long has the surcharge been in place?
The City started charging the $0.75 surcharge on land lines January 1, 1994. The fee was expanded to include cell phones on January 1, 2002.
What is the surcharge used for?
This surcharge is used solely to pay for the cost of emergency dispatch services. The increase will fund operational and equipment improvements necessary to provide enhanced 911 emergency dispatch services. The improvements will also meet the Federal Communications Commission’s mandate for providing wireless call-back numbers and caller location information.
Can I opt out of paying this surcharge?
No. All customers with phone service in the City and Borough of Juneau must pay the surcharge for each phone line and cell phone number they own.
Under what authority is the surcharge set?
In the early 1990’s, the Alaska Legislature authorized communities, of fewer than 100,000 residents, to collect a surcharge of up to $0.75 per line/phone per month to help offset costs of providing Emergency 911 (E911) dispatch services. In 2005, the Alaska Legislature increased the amount allowed up to $2.00 per line/phone per month.
What did the City and Borough do with the monies previously collected under the $0.75 per line/phone per month charge?
The previous surcharge of $0.75 was used solely to pay for the costs of operating the E911 system. However, the $0.75 charge was insufficiently to fully fund the cost of operating the E911 system.
If the past the surcharge was insufficient to fund the program, how was the balance of the program funded?
In prior years, property taxes were used to pay for those costs not fully funded with the $0.75 surcharge. The increased surcharge of $1.90 is intended to fully fund the E911 program and property taxes will not be used unless future costs of the E911 program exceeds the revenue generated from the surcharge.
I have 2 phone lines and 1 fax line in my home and a cell phone. Will I be charged for each phone?
Yes. Each landline (phone or fax) and each cell phone number will be charged. Multiple land line phones to a single phone number will only be charged one surcharge.
Whom can I talk to if I want more information?
For more information, call Cindee Brown-Mills, Juneau Police Department, Administrative Manager, at 586-0600.