NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee officials hope a new state law will end legal disputes between emergency communications districts and telecommunications companies over 911 fee collections.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported Monday that the law puts the Tennessee Department of Revenue in charge of ensuring companies like AT&T collect and turn over state-mandated surcharges on landline and cellphone bills. The fees go to county 911 centers.
Previously, telecommunications companies turned over collections reports and payments on many of their charges to the Tennessee Emergency Communications Board. State Sen. Todd Gardenhire says this method of collecting fees “was an honor system” and the board didn’t have a way of knowing if the figures were accurate.
Tennessee 911 districts also alleged in lawsuits that sometimes companies don’t charge fees on the lines they should or don’t remit them all to the government.