Dialing 911 in Missouri is like a game of Russian Roulette. The state’s public safety director recently warned that most Missouri counties can’t track a caller’s location and that 16% of counties can’t access 911 from any landline. The solution? Higher cellphone taxes:
Missouri is the only state without a statewide fee or tax for wireless 911 service. Voters have twice rejected ballot measures to raise taxes for 911 service, most recently in 2002.
Public Safety Director Mark James told lawmakers Monday that service needs to improve, and recommended a 75-cent monthly fee per cell phone number.
That fee would generate about $33.8 million a year, nearly as much as what’s collected now through the fee on landline numbers, state emergency officials said.
“Ours is one of the worst in the nation, and actions must be taken to correct this life-threatening problem,” James said. “I pray that we don’t have to have a catastrophe occur before we have the courage to fix this situation.”
$0.75 isn’t much for 911 service. Hell, we would pay $0.75 for 311 service.