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Hearing Scheduled on New Wireless Surcharge Law

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Hearing Scheduled on New Wireless Surcharge Law

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Legislature, without dissent, scheduled for its next meeting a public hearing on a proposed change in the County’s wireless communications surcharge law. The hearing will be held on August 15th, 5:30 p.m., at Legislature Chambers, located at the Governor Daniel D. Tompkins Building (second floor), 121 E. Court Street, Ithaca.

The proposed new Local Law would repeal the County’s existing Local Law, passed in 2002, that established a 30-cent public safety surcharge on postpaid wireless communications devices, and authorizes continuation of that surcharge and its extension to pre-paid devices, which had not previously been subject to the surcharge, but now are under State law, as authorized by the 2017-18 State Budget. The State legislation requires the County to repeal the previous law and adopt a new law, to collect both pre-paid and post-paid wireless surcharges.

With current annual Tompkins wireless revenues of approximately $240,000, and pre-paid devices estimated at 20-30% of the wireless market, County Director of Emergency Response Lee Shurtleff noted in a briefing memo that the additional estimated pre-paid revenue of $40-60,000 would offset some losses from the rapidly diminishing landline public safety surcharge.