Clay County Proposition A, which asked voters to implement a $1 monthly fee on cell phones to fund 911 services, passed with 60.9% of the vote in Tuesday's election.
The fee will go into effect on wireless and VoIP phones on April 1, 2024. At the same time, the current landline fee will be eliminated, in accordance with Missouri Statute RSMO 190.455.
"I really want to thank the residents of Clay County who took the time to vote on this important issue,” Sheriff Will Akin said. “The passage of Proposition A will guarantee a sustainable funding source for the 911 system in Clay County for years to come. It will allow us to adapt to new technologies that will improve public safety here and in the Kansas City Metro area. It also decreases pressure on the County’s budget, which will maintain other County services at the level residents have come to expect. We appreciate the support for public safety in Clay County."
This year, the County will pay more than $1.1 million for its portion of the metro area’s regional emergency communications system, which is managed by the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC). The fees from landlines will cover only about $218,000. The County receives an additional $40,000 from state assistance through a fee on prepaid wireless services, but that still leaves a deficit of about $850,000. County leaders expect that deficit to grow annually.
In 2022, 80% of all 911 calls made in Clay County came from wireless devices. Another 9% came through VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol – phone calls made using broadband internet). There was no fee or tax on either of those types of devices to fund 911, despite them being the source of the vast majority of 911 calls.
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