Borough figuring phone tax
Haines Borough interim manager Julie Cozzi said she is still working with staff to develop an ordinance establishing a phone bill fee to help pay for the borough’s new Enhanced-911 system.
Cozzi said she is aware of angst in the community about the monthly fee, which according to law can be as much as $2 per phone line. However, according to the research staff has done, the fee will probably be more like 75 cents.
“I was informed this week that there are some people that are so alarmed they have begun switching their cell phones to Juneau numbers without realizing that Juneau has $1.90 per phone line and in that case they are paying for Juneau’s E-911 rather than their own local (system),” Cozzi said.
The fee would apply to local cell phones and land lines.
Executive assistant to the manager Darsie Culbeck said he learned during his research that cell phone provider AT&T actually uses billing addresses to determine where people live, not the prefix of the phone number.
“So even if you moved your phone to Juneau, unless you changed your residence to Juneau it would still add money on to your phone (bill),” Culbeck said.
Cozzi said she doesn’t know when the ordinance will come before the assembly, but said staff will have it “as soon as we can.”