E911 Fee

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The local telephone bill that every Boone County resident receives each month includes an Emergency Telephone System (E911) Fee of $0.69. On September 9, Boone County Sheriff Dennis Brannon introduced an SBC representative to the Boone County Council for an E911 Fee presentation. It was revealed that Council can raise the $0.69 E911 Fee a whopping 192 percent to $2.02 per month! Council took no action on September 9, but an E911 Fee increase remains a possibility.

Without any reference to pertinent financial information, Council Member Terry Brandenburg supported an E911 Fee increase simply because it is a "user fee." Mr. Brandenburg needs to be told what Council President Charles Eaton told Boone County's Highway Superintendent when he supported an unneeded Wheel Tax as a user fee: "A user fee increase is just a euphemism for a tax increase." A review of pertinent financial information shows that our Sheriff's Department has ample revenue WITHOUT an E911 Fee increase.

Combined Sheriff Department and Jail Maintenance spending per citizen (from General Fund revenues) increased 29.96 percent, or 2.89 times more than inflation, from $2,165,808 for 44,167 citizens in 1998 to $3,076,721 for 48,277 citizens in 2002. None of this spending includes revenue from the E911 Fund. See Boone County Disbursements for details.

The fact that County taxpayers already provide ample General Fund revenue for the Sheriff's Department without an E911 Fee increase is further demonstrated by the responsible way the Sheriff has used the E911 Fund. The E911 Fee generated $566,726 in revenue the past two years. Only $193,959 of this revenue was spent. The Sheriff has managed the E911 Fund so that its cash balance steadily increased to $607,180 as of December 31, 2002. Plans are under way to use $223,000 of the E911 Fund's cash balance to build a 257-foot wireless communication tower for safe radio communication by law enforcement personnel throughout the County.

Council should NOT increase the E911 Fee. The Sheriff's Department is already provided enough revenue through the County's General Fund. The E911 Fund has a significant cash balance, which further indicates that an E911 Fee is unnecessary. Council should let the Sheriff continue his effective management of the E911 Fund without increasing the E911 Fee.

Please contact the following Boone County Council members and tell them what you think about an E911 Fee increase: Tom Wheeler (twheeler@locke.com or 317-873-1437), Walter (Butch) Smith (wsmith312@yahoo.com or 765-436-2365), Charles Eaton (cheulen@hotmail.com or 765-482-7170), Steve Jacob (steve.jacob@twtelecom.com or 317-873-5678), Terry L. Brandenburg (tbburg@tds.net or 765-482-3931), Jeffrey W. Heck (heck4sheriff@insightbb.com or 765-482-5024), Ken P. Campbell (KCampbell@co.boone.in.us or 765-482-0110).

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This page was last updated on 03/19/10.