“This new levy will cover the cost to expand 911 service throughout the province, but most of it is going to be borne by an increase in revenue from Metro Vancouver our citizens and businesses.”
Metro Vancouver is opposing the move by the Province to introduce a levy on wireless devices in order to pay to maintain and enhance 911 coverage in the province.
Metro Chair and Port Coquitlam Mayor Greg Moore says the levy would mean people and businesses in Metro Vancouver would pay more to subsidize 911 service in the rest of the province.
Moore says the levy could mean another 20 or 30-cents on each wireless bill, as opposed to the current model of $4.00 built into your property tax.
“If you think of businesses that might have a few hundred cell phones within their system, but one piece of property, that is going to go up substantially. That is going to cover the cost of expanding it throughout the province. We think the service is a good service, and should be expanded throughout the province, but it shouldn’t be borne by Metro Vancouver citizens and businesses.”
The idea of a 911 cell phone levy was examined and rejected by the Union of BC Municipalities.
It was also struck down by the courts in 2012 when the City of Nanaimo attempted to introduce it.
Alberta has had a similar levy since 2014, when it imposed a $0.44 surcharge on mobile phone bills.