Washington telephone assistance program — Excise tax — Expenses of community service voice mail.
(1) The Washington telephone assistance program shall be funded by a telephone assistance excise tax on all switched access lines and by funds from any federal government or other programs for this purpose. Switched access lines are defined in RCW 82.14B.020. The telephone assistance excise tax shall be applied equally to all residential and business access lines not to exceed fourteen cents per month. The department shall submit an approved annual budget for the Washington telephone assistance program to the department of revenue no later than March 1st prior to the beginning of each fiscal year. The department of revenue shall then determine the amount of telephone assistance excise tax to be placed on each switched access line and shall inform local exchange companies and the utilities and transportation commission of this amount no later than May 1st. The department of revenue shall determine the amount of telephone assistance excise tax by dividing the total of the program budget funded by the telephone assistance excise tax, as submitted by the department, by the total number of switched access lines in the prior calendar year. The telephone assistance excise tax shall be separately identified on each ratepayer's bill as the "Washington telephone assistance program." All money collected from the telephone assistance excise tax shall be transferred to a telephone assistance fund administered by the department.
(2) Local exchange companies shall bill the fund for their expenses incurred in offering the telephone assistance program, including administrative and program expenses. The department shall disburse the money to the local exchange companies. The department is exempted from having to conclude a contract with local exchange companies in order to effect this reimbursement. The department shall recover its administrative costs from the fund. The department may specify by rule the range and extent of administrative and program expenses that will be reimbursed to local exchange companies.
(3) The department shall enter into an agreement with the department of commerce for an amount not to exceed eight percent of the prior fiscal year's total revenue for the administrative and program expenses of providing community service voice mail services. The community service voice mail service may include toll-free lines in community action agencies through which recipients can access their community service voice mailboxes at no charge.
(4) During the 2009-2011 and 2011-2013 biennia, the department shall enter into an agreement with the WIN 211 organization for operational support. During the 2011-2013 biennium, the department shall provide five hundred thousand dollars per fiscal year for this purpose.
(5) During the 2009-2011 biennium, the telephone assistance fund shall also be used in support of the economic services administration call centers and related operations.
[2011 1st sp.s. c 50 § 968; 2011 c 5 § 919; 2010 1st sp.s. c 37 § 951; 2009 c 564 § 960; 2004 c 254 § 2; 2003 c 134 § 4; 1990 c 170 § 3; 1987 c 229 § 5.]
| Effective dates -- 2011 1st sp.s. c 50: See note following RCW 15.76.115.|
Effective date -- 2011 c 5: See note following RCW 43.79.487.
Effective date -- 2010 1st sp.s. c 37: See note following RCW 13.06.050.
Effective date -- 2009 c 564: See note following RCW 2.68.020.
Responsibility for collection of tax -- Implementation -- 2004 c 254: See notes following RCW 43.20A.725.
Effective date -- 2004 c 254: See note following RCW 82.72.010.
Effective date -- 2003 c 134: See note following RCW 80.36.005.