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January 02, 2019
Missouri to Tax Prepaid Cellphone Service to Fund 911 Calls

The cost of prepaid cellphone service in Missouri slightly increased on Tuesday as the state joined most of the rest of the country in charging a tax to fund 911 emergency call centers.

But not all customers will pay the extra charge, because 18 counties and one city have exercised an opt-out provision in the new law.

The cellphone tax is one of several state laws taking effect with the new year that carry financial implications. Missouri also is cutting the individual income tax rate by one-half of a percentage point to 5.4 percent but is offsetting that by reducing the state tax break people can claim for the taxes they pay to the federal government.

Separate new laws will provide state income tax breaks for people who save money to buy their first homes or who donate to organizations that fund the “unmet health, hunger and hygiene needs” of schoolchildren.

Missouri’s new cellphone tax for 911 service was decades in the making. Statewide voters in 1999 and 2002 rejected ballot measures that would have imposed a monthly fee of up to 50 cents on wireless phones to fund enhanced 911 service.

Another State Goes After Cellphones With More Taxes

State of California attempted to increase taxes specific to cellphones but couldn’t get it through

We anticipate that Missiouri will do so because of its precarious financial situation

Look for more states to adopt similar approaches & even more draconian

Missouri to Tax Prepaid Cellphone Service to Fund 911 Calls