Legislature should fix inequity in 911 funding

An editorial from The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The recent decision by the Cabell County Commission to raise tariffs on landline telephones illustrates just how lopsided funding mechanisms to support 911 dispatch centers have become in West Virginia.

A dwindling number of landline users are paying increasingly higher fees to pay for those centers, while cellphone users are paying the same as they were more than a decade ago. Don’t blame the local county commission for that inequity; state lawmakers who refuse to make cellphone users pay more are responsible.

The inequity is made even worse because the number of landlines in Cabell County and most other locales in the state continue to go down as more and more people opt for cellphones only. That means a smaller percentage of residents are being forced to pay a bigger portion of emergency dispatch centers’ budgets.

Let’s look at the disparities…

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