COUNTIES AND COUNTY LAW
EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS ACT
31-4804. Emergency communications fee. (1) The emergency communications fee provided pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be a uniform amount not to exceed one dollar ($1.00) per month per access or interconnected VoIP service line, and such fee shall be used exclusively to finance the initiation, maintenance, operation, enhancement and governance of a consolidated emergency communications system and provide for the reimbursement of telecommunications providers for implementing enhanced consolidated emergency systems as provided for in section 31-4804A, Idaho Code. All emergency communications fees collected and expended pursuant to this section shall be audited by an independent, third-party auditor ordinarily retained by the governing board for auditing purposes. The purpose of the audit as related to emergency communications systems is to verify the accuracy and completeness of fees collected and costs expended.
(2) The fee shall be imposed upon and collected from purchasers of access lines or interconnected VoIP service lines with a service address or place of primary use within the county or 911 service area on a monthly basis by all telecommunications providers of such services. The fee may be listed as a separate item on customers’ monthly bills.
(3) The telecommunications providers shall remit such fee to the county treasurer’s office or the administrator for the 911 service area based upon the 911 service area from which the fees were collected. In the event the telecommunications provider remits such fees based upon the emergency communications fee billed to the customer, a deduction shall be allowed for uncollected amounts when such amounts are treated as bad debt for financial reporting purposes.
(4) From every remittance to the governing body made on or before the date when the same becomes due, the telecommunications provider required to remit the same shall be entitled to deduct and retain one percent (1%) of the collected amount as the cost of administration for collecting the charge. Telecommunications providers will be allowed to list the surcharge as a separate item on the telephone subscriber’s bill and shall have no obligation to take any legal action to enforce the collection of any charge, nor be held liable for such uncollected amounts.
(5) Use of fees. The emergency communications fee provided hereunder shall be used only to pay for the lease, purchase or maintenance of emergency communications equipment for basic and enhanced consolidated emergency systems, and next generation consolidated emergency systems (NG911), including necessary computer hardware, software, database provisioning, training, salaries directly related to such systems, costs of establishing such systems, management, maintenance and operation of hardware and software applications and agreed-to reimbursement costs of telecommunications providers related to the operation of such systems. Use of the emergency communications fee should, if possible, coincide with the strategic goals as identified by the Idaho public safety communications commission in its annual report to the legislature. However, the county or 911 service area governing board has final authority on lawful expenditures. All other expenditures necessary to operate such systems and other normal and necessary safety or law enforcement functions including, but not limited to, those expenditures related to overhead, staffing, dispatching, administrative and other day-to-day operational expenditures, shall continue to be paid through the general funding of the respective governing boards; provided however, that any governing body using the emergency communications fee to pay the salaries of dispatchers as of March 1, 2006, may continue to do so until the beginning of such governing body’s 2007 fiscal year.
[31-4804, added 1988, ch. 348, sec. 1, p. 1028; am. 1990, ch. 200, sec. 4, p. 451; am. 2003, ch. 290, sec. 4, p. 788; am. 2003, ch. 311, sec. 2, p. 854; am. 2006, ch. 238, sec. 1, p. 722; am. 2007, ch. 340, sec. 3, p. 997; am. 2016, ch. 127, sec. 3, p. 367.]