Legislators pull resolution to tax cell phones

 by Carol Thompson

A resolution that would allow Oswego County government to add a surcharge to cellular telephones was pulled without explanation when the full legislature met Thursday.

The resolution, proposed by Legislator Linda Lockwood, would allow the county to impose a surcharge of 30 cents per month for the county’s E-911 budget.

The county currently imposes a surcharge on landline telephones, however, there has been a decrease in landline use since the prevalence of cellular telephones.  A surcharge on cell phones would bring those users equal to those with landlines, the resolution notes.

All but nine counties in the state have a surcharge, according to the resolution. Before the county could impose the tax, it would need authorization in the form of legislation to be passed by the state Senate and Assembly.

The surcharge would be used for improvements to the county’s E-911 system.  The legislature approved the expenditure of $836,009 for upgrades. The project will be paid through a state grant.

During the conclusion of the meeting, Legislator Doug Malone asked why the resolution had been pulled.

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