Higher Phone Fees Proposed in Prince George's Co.

Voters will tackle Question F on ballot

In some quarters, the "F" in Question F stands for "funding." In others, it stands for "funky." 

The question, which will be on Prince George's County's ballot on Election Day, would impose a 3 percent increase on telecommunication services. Cell phones, hard-line phones and cable voice service would all be affected.

The current fee of 8 percent would jump to 11 percent, raising $17 million that would be dedicated to the Prince George's County School system.

County Executive Jack Johnson supports the initiative, saying, "It's like asking county residents to pledge another $25 a year to shore up the school system." 

Johnson said TRIM, the law that caps county property taxes, prohibits Prince George's from raising the money the school system needs. The ballot question has drawn the ire of the nation's cable industry.

Wireless.org, an industry-funded consumer advocacy group, has spent more than $200,000 trying to convince county residents to vote down Question F. The group said the passage will mean a $25 increase for every phone subscription a county resident has.

Wireless.org Executive Director Kimberly Kou said families with a hard-line phone and multiple wireless phones would pay $25 for each phone.

Kou also said the increase would hit Prince George's County taxpayers with one of the highest combined state and local telecom tax rates in the nation.

Contact Us