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Sunday, August 19, 2007


While testifying before a House committee on Aug. 6, Missouri Department of Public Safety Director Mark James called for a imposing 75-cent a month tax on cell phone service to pay for improvements in the state’s 911 system. James is a member of Gov. Matt Blunt’s cabinet. The governor traditionally has opposed tax increases.

James made his comments before the House Special Committee to Evaluate the 911 System. According to The Associated Press, Missouri is the only state without a statewide tax for wireless 911 service. The proposed tax would generate an estimated $33.8 million a year.

Missouri voters have twice defeated proposed state taxes on cell phone service dedicated for the 911 system. In 1999, the proposal garnered just 42.5 percent voter support. Support slipped to 34.7 percent when an identical measure was placed on the ballot in 2002. Both measures called for a 50-cent per month tax on cell phone services.

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