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HomeNewsArchivesAPRIL PHONE BILLS HAVE '911 SURCHARGE' OF $1

APRIL PHONE BILLS HAVE '911 SURCHARGE' OF $1

Starting this month, the V.I. Telephone Corp. is assessing a $1 government surcharge on telephone bills to fund efforts to improve emergency services in the territory.
The surcharge is listed as "V.I. Emergency Services Tax" in the itemized charges that appear on customers' bills.
A law enacted last November imposed the government surcharge of $1 per customer per month on phone bills, with funds earmarked for the purchase of equipment and supplies or the maintenance or improvement of emergency equipment, including 911 service.
In early March, Gov. Charles Turnbull sent the Legislature proposed amendments to the law that would have allowed Vitelco to deduct the administrative costs of collecting the surcharge for the government. A few days later, however, Vitelco's parent company — Innovative Communication Corp. — said Vitelco would absorb the costs instead.
Turnbull’s proposal would have allowed Vitelco to deduct $10,500 in start-up costs to begin 911 operating services. Once the service was on line, Vitelco would have been able to deduct $1,000 a month for administering the collection and disbursement of the surcharge funds. Soon after news of the governor's action, ICC announced that Vitelco would absorb all costs associated with the collection of the surcharge.
The legislation calls for the telephone company to collect the $1 per month on each phone bill and turn the money over to the government within 15 days of collection for deposit into the Emergency Services Special Fund. According to a Government House release, the commissioner of Finance will place the surcharge proceeds into the fund, which will be for use by public safety agencies.
The release said a notice explaining the cost would appear in Vitelco customers’ bills for April.

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Starting this month, the V.I. Telephone Corp. is assessing a $1 government surcharge on telephone bills to fund efforts to improve emergency services in the territory.
The surcharge is listed as "V.I. Emergency Services Tax" in the itemized charges that appear on customers' bills.
A law enacted last November imposed the government surcharge of $1 per customer per month on phone bills, with funds earmarked for the purchase of equipment and supplies or the maintenance or improvement of emergency equipment, including 911 service.
In early March, Gov. Charles Turnbull sent the Legislature proposed amendments to the law that would have allowed Vitelco to deduct the administrative costs of collecting the surcharge for the government. A few days later, however, Vitelco's parent company -- Innovative Communication Corp. -- said Vitelco would absorb the costs instead.
Turnbull’s proposal would have allowed Vitelco to deduct $10,500 in start-up costs to begin 911 operating services. Once the service was on line, Vitelco would have been able to deduct $1,000 a month for administering the collection and disbursement of the surcharge funds. Soon after news of the governor's action, ICC announced that Vitelco would absorb all costs associated with the collection of the surcharge.
The legislation calls for the telephone company to collect the $1 per month on each phone bill and turn the money over to the government within 15 days of collection for deposit into the Emergency Services Special Fund. According to a Government House release, the commissioner of Finance will place the surcharge proceeds into the fund, which will be for use by public safety agencies.
The release said a notice explaining the cost would appear in Vitelco customers’ bills for April.