SEC. 19-5-357. Telephone subscriber service charge to fund training; collection of charge; special fund; use of monies in fund; training expenses [Repealed effective July 1, 2006].
(1) From and after July 1, 1993, a service charge of Five Cents (5¢) shall be placed on each subscriber service line within the State of Mississippi. This service charge shall apply equally to both private and business lines and shall apply to all service suppliers operating within the State of Mississippi. This subscriber service charge level shall be reviewed periodically to determine if the service charge level is adequate or excessive, and adjustments may be made accordingly.
(2) Every billed service user shall be liable for any service charge imposed under this section until it has been paid to the service supplier. The duty of the service supplier to collect any such service charge shall commence upon the date of its implementation. Any such minimum standards telephone service charge shall be added to, and may be stated separately in, the billing by the service supplier to the service user.
(3) The service supplier shall have no obligation to take any legal action to enforce the collection of any emergency telephone service charge. However, the service supplier shall annually provide the Board of Emergency Telecommunications Standards and Training with a list of the amount uncollected, together with the names and addresses of those service users who carry a balance that can be determined by the service supplier to be nonpayment of such service charge. The service charge shall be collected at the same time as the tariff rate in accordance with the regular billing practice of the service supplier. Good faith compliance by the service supplier with this provision shall constitute a complete defense to any legal action which may result from the service supplier's determination of nonpayment and/or the identification of service users in connection therewith.
(4) The amounts collected by the service supplier attributable to the minimum standards telephone service charge shall be deposited monthly into a special fund hereby created in the State Treasury. The amount of service charge collected each month by the service supplier shall be remitted to the special fund no later than sixty (60) days after the close of the month. A return, in such form as prescribed by the State Tax Commission, shall be filed with the Tax Commission, together with a remittance of the amount of service charge collected payable to the special fund. The service supplier shall maintain records of the amount of service charge collected for a period of at least three (3) years from date of collection. From the gross receipts to be remitted to the special fund, the service supplier shall be entitled to retain as an administrative fee, an amount equal to one percent (1%) thereof. This service charge is a state fee and is not subject to any sales, use, franchise, income, excise or any other tax, fee or assessment, and shall not be considered revenue of the service supplier for any purpose. All administrative provisions of the Mississippi Sales Tax Law, including those which fix damages, penalties and interest for nonpayment of taxes and for noncompliance with the provisions of such chapter, and all other duties and requirements imposed upon taxpayers, shall apply to all persons liable for fees under the provisions of this chapter, and the Tax Commissioner shall exercise all the power and authority and perform all the duties with respect to taxpayers under this chapter as are provided in the Mississippi Sales Tax Law except where there is a conflict, then the provisions of this chapter shall control.
(5) The proceeds generated by the minimum standards service charge shall primarily be used by the board pursuant to legislative appropriation to fund the minimum standards training program for public safety telecommunicators within the State of Mississippi. These funds shall be applied on a first-come first-served basis, which shall be determined by the date of application. All city, county and state public safety telecommunicators, including those employed by city and/or county supported ambulance services and districts, shall be eligible to receive these funds to meet minimum standards training requirements. No "for-profit" ambulance, security or fire service company operating in the private sector shall be qualified to receive these minimum standards training funds unless the company is on contract with a local government to provide primary emergency response. Law enforcement officers, fire and emergency medical personnel who are used as part-time or "fill-in" telecommunicators shall also be eligible to receive funding for this minimum standards training, provided they serve at least eight (8) hours per month as a telecommunicator. However, emergency medical personnel who are used as part-time or "fill-in" telecommunicators and are employed by any for-profit ambulance company operating in the private sector shall be eligible to receive funding for the minimum standards training, provided they serve at least twenty (20) hours per week as a telecommunicator. These funds may also be expended by the Board of Emergency Telecommunications Standards and Training to administer the minimum standards program for such things as personnel, office equipment, computer software, supplies and other necessary expenses.
(6) The Board of Emergency Telecommunications Standards and Training shall be authorized to reimburse any public safety agency or emergency medical service for meals, lodging, travel, course fees and salary during the time spent training, upon successful completion of such course. Funds may also be expended to train certain individuals to become certified instructors of the various courses included in these minimum standards in order to conduct training within the State of Mississippi.
(7) If the proceeds generated by the minimum standards service charge exceed the amount of monies necessary to fund the service, the Board of Emergency Telecommunications Standards and Training may authorize such excess funds to be available for advanced training, upgraded training and recertification of instructors. Any funds remaining at the close of any fiscal year shall not lapse into the State General Fund but shall be carried over to the next fiscal year to be used as a beginning balance for the fiscal requirements of such year.
(8) This section shall stand repealed on July 1, 2006.
SOURCES: Laws, 1993, ch. 536, § 10; Laws, 1998, ch. 458, § 3; Laws, 2001, ch. 490, § 2, HB 819; Reenacted without change, Laws, 2003, ch. 374, § 2, HB 843, eff from and after July 1, 2003.
PREVIOUS VERSIONS: Pre-2004
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