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If you take a close look at your mobile or landline phone monthly bill (which you should—right, Nate?), you'll note a list of "Government Fees and Taxes" somewhere on the statement. This should include a tithe typically labeled "9-1-1 emergency services," which presumably subsidizes just that—the agencies that answer the phone and connect to first responders when you call 911 for help.
But does the money really go there? A new survey by the Federal Communications Commission indicates that in 2009 over a dozen states did not or may not have spent these funds on 911 or "E911" services, which zone in on caller locations.
Georgia collected $8,537,319 in prepaid 911 fees. "None of these funds were allocated for 911 or E911 use,"
New York squirreled $10 million from its Local Wireless Account into its general fund.
Last but not least comes the great state of Wisconsin:
"911 Fund collected approximately $25,000,000 in excess of the actual requests for funds submitted by the 911 grant applicants. A small portion of that collection was applied to the salary expense the Commission incurred to administer the program. The funds collected in excess of the wireless E911 program obligations were transferred to the state's general purpose revenue account on June 30, 2009."