Oregon Senate approves 911 tax for prepaid phones

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - The Oregon Legislature has given its final approval to extending 911 emergency taxes to prepaid cellphones.

The state Senate unanimously approved the measure on Friday, sending it to Gov. John Kitzhaber.

The approval resolves years of conflict over the issue. Lawmakers have generally agreed that all phone lines capable of calling 911 should pay the 75-cent-per-month tax, which provides a substantial portion of funding for emergency dispatch centers.

But they've disagreed about how to collect the tax and whether it should apply to phone companies or to consumers.

Under the compromise, phone companies would pay the tax for the first nine months of next year. Starting in October, consumers would pay 75 cents each time they purchase prepaid phone credits.

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