§138-4 Surcharge. (a) A monthly enhanced 911 surcharge, subject to this chapter, shall be imposed upon each communications service connection, except connections of the public utility providing telecommunications services and land line enhanced 911 services through section 269-16.95.
(b) The rate of the surcharge shall be set at 66 cents per month for each communications service connection. The surcharge shall have uniform application and shall be imposed on each communications service connection operating within the State except:
(1) Connections billed to federal, state, and county governmental entities;
(2) Prepaid connections; and
(3) Connections provided by the public utility providing telecommunications services and land line enhanced 911 services through section 269-16.95.
(c) All communications service providers and resellers shall bill to and collect from each of their customers a monthly surcharge at the rate established for each communications service connection. The communications service provider or reseller may list the surcharge as a separate line item on each bill. If a communications service provider or reseller receives a partial payment for a monthly bill from a communications service customer, the communications service provider or reseller shall apply the payment against the amount the customer owes the communications service provider or reseller, before applying the partial payment against the surcharge.
(d) A communications service provider that:
(1) Is collecting the surcharge and remitting appropriate portions of the surcharge to the fund pursuant to this chapter; and
(2) Has been requested by a public safety answering point to provide enhanced 911 service in a particular county or counties,
may recover enhanced 911 service costs as provided in this chapter.
(e) Each communications service provider or reseller may retain two per cent of the amount of surcharges collected to offset administrative expenses associated with billing and collecting the surcharge.
(f) A communications service provider or reseller shall remit to the enhanced 911 fund, within sixty days after the end of the calendar month in which the surcharge is collected, an amount that represents the surcharges collected less amounts retained for administrative expenses incurred by the communications service provider or reseller, as provided in subsection (e).
(g) A public utility providing telecommunications services and land line enhanced 911 services for its customer base and other service providers using the wire line provider's enhanced 911 service may collect and retain the surcharge at the established rate set forth in section 269-16.95.
(h) The surcharges collected by the communications service provider or reseller pursuant to this section shall not be subject to any tax, fee, or assessment, nor are the surcharges considered revenue of the provider or reseller.
(i) Each customer who is subject to this chapter shall be liable to the State for the surcharge until it has been paid to the communications service provider. Communications service providers shall have no liability to remit surcharges that have not been paid by customers. A communications service provider or reseller shall have no obligation to take any legal action to enforce the collection of the surcharge for which any customer is billed. However, the board may initiate a collection action against the customer. If the board prevails in such a collection action, reasonable attorney's fees and costs shall be awarded.
(j) At any time the members deem it necessary and appropriate, the board may meet to make recommendations to the legislature as to whether the surcharge and fund should be discontinued, continued as is, or amended.
(k) When considering whether to discontinue, continue as is, or amend the fund or surcharge, the board's recommendations shall be based on the latest available information concerning costs associated with providing enhanced 911 service. [L 2004, c 159, pt of §2; am L 2011, c 168, pt of §1]