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The Department of Agriculture requested an advance decision on the propriety of paying a 911 emergency number fee for telephone service in Hillsborough County, Florida. GAO held that: (1) the federal government was not authorized to pay the fee, since it was equivalent to a tax which the government was not required to pay; (2) the fee was not a payable service charge, since the county did not attempt to demonstrate that the amount of the fee was related to the value of the service; and (3) since there was no indication that the telephone company would provide 911 access as part of its regular services, the county was responsible for all 911 charges.


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