MADISON - A new 75-cent monthly fee for all cell phones, landlines or other devices capable of calling 911 starts today in Wisconsin.
The fee was approved by the Legislature earlier this year to help balance the state budget.
The money collected will go to county and local governments to help support police and fire protection services. If phone companies separately list the new fee on bills, it will appear as the "Police and Fire Protection Fee."
The $50 million a year raised originally was designed to help pay for 911 call centers.
But as the budget problem grew, the Legislature instead decided to divert the money to local governments to reduce pressure on raising property taxes.