Chicago imposes largest 911 fee in the nation

(The Center Square) ā€“ Residents of Chicago are facing some of the highest wireless taxes in the country when compared to other cities, and those bills are even higher due to the city’s 911 service tax.

According to the most recent data by the National Emergency Number Association, a non-profit organization focused on improving 911 services, Chicago charges the most in the country for the service, ahead of New York, North Dakota, and West Virginia.

Justin Carlson of the Illinois Policy Institute explained how the city is implementing the fee, even for those who never have to call 911.

“This is not an every-time-you-call fee. It is a monthly surcharge,” Carlson told The Center Square. “For people who have numbers within the city of Chicago, they will get charged five dollars a month, every month, for 911 services.”

Carlson said the fee has been raised in previous years.

“On Jan. 1st, 2018, the surcharge for 911 calls went from $3.90 to $5.00,” Carlson said. “The reason it was implemented was to update and modernize the city’s 911 system.”

Even with the improvements made to the systems paid for with taxpayer fees, Chicago police officers still struggle to respond to calls in a timely manner.

According to a recent report from The Chicago Tribune, more than 21,000 calls made to CPD in 2022 included over an hour of wait time before an officer arrived at the scene.

Chicago residents also see expanded bills on their wireless plans due to the state’s high taxes. The federal tax rate on wireless plans is 12.24%. However, according to Tax Foundation data, Illinois’ state tax on wireless plans of 22.65% is the most expensive for cell phone users nationwide.

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