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Texas state commission still looking to repeal 911 tax for prepaid

After voting to impose a 50-cent 911 tax on prepaid phones and minutes in June, the Texas Commission on State Emergency Communications faced nearly immediate requests to repeal it from state legislators. Their argument is that prepaid users, for the most part, comprise those who have a lesser ability to pay this tax. While no decision has been made yet, we learned yesterday that the commission will hear additional comments on the issue.

“We are glad that the CSEC responded to our calls for action. Because the impact of the 911 tax falls disproportionately on low income prepaid cell phone customers, we will be eager to see if a fair alternative can be found by CSEC,” said Sandra Haverlah, President of the Texas Consumer Association.

“If an equitable solution cannot be developed by CSEC, we believe that Legislative action will be needed to address the inequities in the method of charging the 911 tax to prepaid cell phone users in Texas,” said Haverlah.

While the measure does have the support of state reps such as Eddie Rodriguez of Austin, it might not be resolved soon. The issue could extend until the Texas Legislature meets again in January.