_________ Bill No. _______

Introduced By _______________________________________________________________________________

A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act increasing the monthly subscriber fee imposed for telephone exchange access services from 25 cents to 70 cents; limiting the amount of the fee the department of revenue may retain for administrative costs; and amending sections

10-4-201 and 10-4-302, MCA."

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:

Section 1.  Section 10-4-201, MCA, is amended to read:

"10-4-201.   Fee imposed for telephone exchange access services. (1) Except as provided in 10-4-202, a fee of 25 70 cents a month per access line on each service subscriber in the state is imposed on the amount charged for telephone exchange access services.

(2)  The subscriber paying for exchange access line services is liable for the fee imposed by this section.

(3)  The provider shall collect the fee. The amount of the fee collected by the provider is considered payment by the subscriber for that amount of fee.

(4)  Any return made by the provider collecting the fee is prima facie evidence of payments by the subscribers of the amount of fees indicated on the return."

Section 2.  Section 10-4-302, MCA, is amended to read:

"10-4-302.   Distribution of account by department. (1) The department shall make quarterly distributions of the entire account beginning on April 1, 1987. The distributions must be made for the following:

(a)  administrative costs incurred during the preceding calendar quarter by the department of revenue in carrying out this chapter. The amount paid may not exceed 1% 0.33% of the account on the date of distribution or actual expenses incurred, whichever is less.

(b)  administrative costs incurred during the preceding calendar quarter by the department in carrying out its duties under this chapter. The department's annual recovery of costs may not exceed 7% 2.33% of the amount collected by the account during the fiscal year or actual expenses incurred, whichever is less.

(c)  costs incurred during the preceding calendar quarter by each provider of telephone service in the state for:

(i)  collection of the fee imposed by 10-4-201;

(ii) modification of central office switching and trunking equipment for emergency telephone service only; and

(iii) conversion of pay station telephones required by 10-4-121.

(2)  Payments under subsection (1)(c) may be made only after application by the provider to the department for costs incurred in subsection (1)(c). The department shall review all applications relevant to subsection (1)(c) for appropriateness of costs claimed by the provider. If the provider contests the review, payment may not be made until the amount owed the provider is made certain.

(3)  After all amounts under subsections (1) and (2) have been paid, the balance of the account must be allocated to cities and counties on a per capita basis. However, each county must be allocated a minimum of 1% of the balance of the counties' share of the account. A 9-1-1 jurisdiction whose 9-1-1 service area includes more than one city or county is eligible to receive operating funds from the allocation for each city or county involved. The department shall distribute to the accounting entity designated by a 9-1-1 jurisdiction with an approved final plan the proportional amount for each city or county served by the 9-1-1 jurisdiction. The department shall provide a report indicating the proportional share derived from the individual city's or county's allocation with each distribution to a 9-1-1 jurisdiction.

(4)  If the department through its monitoring process determines that a 9-1-1 jurisdiction is not adhering to an approved plan or is not using funds in the manner prescribed in 10-4-303, the department may, after notice and hearing, suspend payment to the 9-1-1 jurisdiction. The jurisdiction is not eligible to receive funds until such time as the department determines that the jurisdiction is complying with the approved plan and fund usage limitations."