Why a Ballot Question for 911 Funding?

Thursday, October 18, 2018, 8:47 am
By: 
Chris Root

If you vote in the November 6, 2018, election, you will see there are seven ballot questions below the partisan and non-partisan elected positions. For voters in Ingham County, this relatively little-known question appears near the end of the ballot:

“Shall the County of Ingham, Michigan, be authorized to assess a charge on all landline, wireless, and voice over internet protocol service users located in Ingham County of up to $1.80 per month to be used exclusively for the funding of 9-1-1 emergency telephone call answering and dispatch services within Ingham County, including facilities, infrastructure, equipment and maintenance, and operating costs?”

The 9-1-1 call center that responds to all calls for emergency assistance from anywhere in Ingham County is funded from two sources: (1) a $0.42 per month surcharge on your phone bill (for both landlines and wireless phones) and (2) a special millage of 0.85 mills on taxable value of property.

Ingham County explains two reasons why this proposed increase is needed:

  1. Local public safety agencies have decided that they need to move to the statewide Michigan Public Safety Communication System (MPSCS) Radio System to enable better coordination in cases of emergencies that could extend beyond the county.
  2. Ingham County’s current 9-1-1 radio system will soon be obsolete; the equipment will no longer be serviced after 2021.

So, the ballot proposal is aimed at funding the updating and wider networking of the 9-1-1 safety system.

If it passes through majority approval by voters, phone owners in Ingham County will see an increase in the monthly phone surcharge for each phone number from $0.42 to $1.80 per month, for an annual cost per phone of $21.60.

To see a sample ballot with all the ballot questions, go to the Michigan Voter Information Center.

 

 

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