Section 190.460 RSMo., passed by the legislature this past year, imposes a statewide service charge of 3% on all prepaid wireless phones and retail purchases. The revenue raised form this prepaid wireless emergency telephone service charge will be deposited in the Department of Revenue’s general fund and the Missouri 911 Service Trust Fund. The Missouri 911 Service Board will then set rates at which to remit the funds from this account back to the Counties and affected Cities. The statute specifies the rates to be remitted to counties and the city of St. Louis. However, the statute is unclear what, if any, portion of the funds will be remitted back to other Cities. Any funds that Cities and Counties do receive from the board must be used only for reimbursing expenditures actually incurred in the implementation and operation of the Missouri 911 systems and for the answering and dispatching of emergency calls.
The charge will automatically go into effect on January 1, 2019 statewide, unless a City or County opts out. The statute directs the Missouri 911 Service Board to notify all Cities in the state that they may opt out of this charge. Accordingly, many Cities may have recently received such a notice. If a city desires to opt out of this charge, the City must adopt an ordinance or resolution by at least a two-thirds vote prohibiting the charge. Ordinances or resolutions opting out must be adopted at least forty-five days prior to the effective date—no later than Friday, November 16, 2018.
Cities and Counties that opt outwill not be eligible to obtain any funds from the Missouri 911 Service Trust Fund remitted to the fund under this charge. This law currently provides that it will expire in January 2023.