Bill Text - HB388 (2012)

Requiring providers of prepaid wireless services and voice over internet protocol services to pay surcharges for deposit in the enhanced 911 system fund.


Revision: Jan. 5, 2012, midnight

HB 388-FN – AS INTRODUCED

2011 SESSION

11-0502

09/03

HOUSE BILL 388-FN

AN ACT requiring providers of prepaid wireless services and voice over Internet protocol services to pay surcharges for deposit in the enhanced 911 system fund.

SPONSORS: Rep. Townsend, Graf 10; Rep. Pastor, Graf 9; Rep. R. Read, Rock 16

COMMITTEE: Science, Technology and Energy

ANALYSIS

This bill requires providers of prepaid wireless services and voice over Internet protocol services to pay surcharges for deposit in the enhanced 911 system fund.

This bill was requested by the department of safety.

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

11-0502

09/03

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eleven

AN ACT requiring providers of prepaid wireless services and voice over Internet protocol services to pay surcharges for deposit in the enhanced 911 system fund.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 New Paragraph; Definitions. Amend RSA 106-H:2 by inserting after paragraph II the following new paragraph:

II-a. “Active prepaid wireless telecommunications account” means a prepaid wireless service account that has a positive balance of available minutes.

2 Definitions. Amend RSA 106-H:2, VIII-a to read as follows:

VIII-a. “IP” means Internet protocol.

VIII-b. “Master street address guide” or “MSAG” means an alphabetical listing of all streets and house number ranges within a municipality. House number ranges shall consist of the beginning number and highest possible number on each public or private way with multiple structures.

VIII-c. “Prepaid wireless telecommunications account” means any wireless telecommunications service that is activated or replenished in advance by payment of a finite dollar amount for a finite number of minutes that terminate upon use of the wireless device or expire with a certain period of time following the purchase or activation.

3 New Paragraph; Definitions. Amend RSA 106-H:2 by inserting after paragraph XIV the following new paragraph:

XV. “VoIP” means voice over Internet protocol which is a technology to deliver voice communications over IP networks such as the Internet or other IP networks.

4 Funding; Enhanced 911 System Fund. Amend RSA 106-H:9 to read as follows:

106-H:9 Funding; Fund Established.

I. The enhanced 911 system and the statewide emergency notification system shall be funded through a surcharge to be levied upon users of voice communications devices that have access to the public switched telephone network and are capable of dialing or otherwise entering the digits 9-1-1 in the case of an emergency and routing that call to a New Hampshire public safety answering point. A monthly surcharge shall be levied on:

(a) Each residence and business telephone exchange line, including PBX trunks and Centrex lines, [each individual commercial mobile radio service number,] and each semi-public and public coin and public access line. No such surcharge shall be imposed upon more than 25 business telephone exchange lines[, including PBX trunks and Centrex lines, or more than 25 commercial mobile radio service exchange lines per customer billing account].

(b) Each individual commercial mobile radio service number with a New Hampshire billing address. No surcharge shall be imposed on more than 25 commercial mobile radio service providers per customer billing account.

(c) Each VoIP service number with a New Hampshire billing address or a New Hampshire address provided to the VoIP provider for enhanced 911 system purposes.

(d) Each active prepaid wireless telecommunications provider with a New Hampshire billing address.

II. Each local exchange telephone company or entity which provides commercial mobile radio service and each VoIP service and each entity which provides prepaid wireless telecommunications service shall remit the surcharge amounts on a monthly basis to the enhanced 911 services bureau, which shall be forwarded to the state treasurer for deposit in the enhanced 911 system fund.

(a) In the case of local exchange telephone companies, the surcharge shall be contained within tariffs or rate schedules filed with the public utilities commission and shall be billed on a monthly basis by each local exchange telephone company and may be identified on the customer’s bill.

(b) In the case of an entity which provides commercial mobile radio service the surcharge shall be billed to each customer on a monthly basis and shall not be subject to any state or local tax; the surcharge shall be collected by the commercial mobile radio service provider, and may be identified on the customer’s bill.

(c) In the case of an entity which provides VoIP service, the surcharge shall be billed to each customer on a monthly basis and shall not be subject to any state or local tax; the surcharge shall be collected by the VoIP provider, and may be identified on the customer’s bill.

(d) In the case of an entity which provides prepaid wireless communications service, the surcharge shall be collected by deducting the number of minutes from each active prepaid wireless telecommunications account that is the monetary equivalent to the enhanced 911 system surcharge. The entity is responsible for a surcharge on that account equal to the monetary equivalent of the total minutes left on that account. The deduction of minutes to collect the surcharge may be identified on the account. [Each local exchange telephone company or entity which provides commercial mobile radio service shall remit the surcharge amounts on a monthly basis to the enhanced 911 services bureau, which shall be forwarded to the state treasurer for deposit in the enhanced 911 system fund.]

III. The state treasurer shall pay expenses incurred in the administration of the enhanced 911 system and the statewide emergency notification system from [such] the enhanced 911 system fund. Such fund shall not lapse. If the expenditure of additional funds over budget estimates is necessary for the proper functioning of the enhanced 911 system or the statewide emergency notification system, the department of safety may request, with prior approval of the fiscal committee of the general court, the transfer of funds from the enhanced 911 system fund to the department of safety for such purposes. The moneys in the account shall not be used for any purpose other than the development and operation of enhanced 911 services and the statewide emergency notification system, in accordance with the terms of this chapter. Surcharge amounts shall be reviewed after the budget has been approved or modified, and if appropriate, new tariffs or rate schedules shall be filed with the public utilities commission reflecting the surcharge amount.

[II.] IV. Imposition of the enhanced 911 services surcharge shall provide adequate funding for the development of the enhanced 911 database, the statewide emergency notification system database, and other operations of the enhanced 911 system and the statewide emergency notification system.

[III.] V.(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, and except as otherwise provided in RSA 82-A, the records and files of the department, related to this section, are confidential and privileged. Neither the department, nor any employee of the department, nor any other person charged with the custody of such records or files, nor any vendor or any of its employees to whom such information becomes available in the performance of any contractual services for the department shall disclose any information obtained from the department’s records, files, or returns or from any examination, investigation, or hearing, nor may any such employee or person be required to produce any such information for the inspection of any person or for the use in any action or proceeding except as provided in this paragraph.

(b) The following exceptions shall apply to this paragraph:

(1) Delivery to the surcharge collector or its representative of a copy of any return or other papers filed by the surcharge collector.

(2) Disclosure of department records, files, returns, or information in a New Hampshire state judicial or administrative proceeding pertaining to administration of the surcharge where the information is directly related to an issue in the proceeding regarding the surcharge under this section, or the surcharge collector whom the information concerns is a party to such proceeding, or the information concerns a transactional relationship between a person who is a party to the proceeding and the taxpayer.

(3) Disclosure to the department of revenue administration of records, files, and information required by the department of revenue administration to administer the communications services tax pursuant to RSA 82-A.

(4) Disclosure of department records, files, and information to the legislative budget assistant, when requested by the legislative budget assistant pursuant to RSA 14:31, IV.

5 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2012.

LBAO

11-0502

Revised 02/22/11

HB 388 FISCAL NOTE

AN ACT requiring providers of prepaid wireless services and voice over internet protocol services to pay surcharges for deposit in the enhanced 911 system fund.

FISCAL IMPACT:

      The Department of Safety and the Public Utilities Commission state this bill will increase state restricted revenues by an indeterminable amount, and have an indeterminable effect on state expenditures in FY 2012 and each year thereafter. There will be no fiscal impact on county and local revenues or expenditures.

METHODOLOGY:

    The Department of Safety and the Public Utilities Commission state this bill requires the $.57 enhanced 911 surcharges to be expanded to apply to pre-paid cellular telephone and VoIP service numbers. The Department and the Commission state there is no data available in which to determine the number of pre-paid cellular telephones and VoIP service numbers the surcharge would be applied to, however, the impact of the expanded surcharge would increase revenue to the enhanced 911 system fund by an indeterminable amount.

    The Commission also states the proposed legislation would have an indeterminable effect on state expenditures. The Commission’s estimates are based on an interpretation of a service line representing an individual telephone line or number. The Commission notes the state currently has about 15,000 telephone lines of which approximately 1,500 have been converted to VoIP. Under the proposed legislation, state expenditures would increase by $10,260 per fiscal year ($.57 x 1,500 service numbers x 12 months). Additionally, the Commission notes current law limits the surcharge for businesses to 25 lines per customer billing account; the state currently has many billing accounts with a varying number of telephone lines per account. The Department of Administrative Services estimates the state currently pays approximately $1,700 per month or $20,400 per year in enhanced 911 surcharges. The Commission notes that to the extent existing telephone land lines are converted to VoIP, state expenditures may increase. The Commission estimates if the state disconnected all traditional telephone service and replaced it with VoIP, total state expenditures on the enhanced 911 surcharge would increase by $82,200 per year ($15,000 X .57 = $102,600 – $20,400). However, the Commission states the increase in expenditures would likely be more than offset by savings that would be experienced as a result of the transition to VoIP.

    The Department of Administrative Services’ estimates are based on an interpretation that the state would pay the surcharge in the same manner the current Centrex lines are billed, wherein the surcharge would not be imposed on more than 25 business lines. Based on this interpretation, the Department states any effect the proposed legislation would have on state expenditures would be negligible as the surcharge fees applied to VoIP lines would be of a similar amount that the Department currently pays for the state’s Centrex lines.

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