National Weather Service--Georgia 911 Charge
B-301126: Oct 22, 2003
The Chief of Financial Management Division for the Mountain Administrative Support Center of the Department of Commerce has requested an advance decision under 31 U.S.C. 3529 on the propriety of paying the emergency 911 telephone charge assessed against the National Weather Service telephone lines by its service provider on behalf of several counties in the State of Georgia under the Georgia Emergency Telephone Number "911" Service Act of 1997.
The federal government is constitutionally immune from paying the Georgia 911 charge because it is a vendee tax, the legal burden of which falls directly on the federal government as a user of telephone services. In addition, Georgia statutes bar the assessment of this charge against federal entities. The National Weather Service should not pay assessments of this fee by its telephone service provider.