Santa Clara proposes 911 service fee

January 9, 2008 1:06:19 PM PST
Santa Clara County residents may soon be paying more for emergency services. The county is considering charging all phone user residents a little and some businesses a lot.

It would be an additional 27 cents per month for people in San Jose and up to a dollar for those who use phones in unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County. the Finance Government Committee has passed it and they want it on the books by March.

Businesses would pay thousands of dollars more per year and the money would go to help out the 911 response and other disaster preparedness services. Businesses would pay up to $10,000 a year.

The president of Silicon Valley Leadership found out the plan last night when a reporter asked about it. He had some questions of his own.

"What efficiencies have they looked for internally? Why did you pick this proposal to discuss? How is it being fairly planned? What is the process for implementation? How are you engaging all stakeholders in this conversation?"

That is a lot of questions.

Santa Clara County faces a $155 million dollar deficit. This plan would raise about $9 million dollars. Some phone companies have challenged similar fees in some communities such as Stockton and Union City, so this plan is far from being approved, but it's still going to the full Board of Supervisors.