Texas House Approves Lifting Tech-Phone Bill Fee

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The Texas House has approved legislation repealing a fee on phone bills that funds a technology program that no longer exists.

The measure now moves to the Senate.

The Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund fee, known as TIF, is levied on telephone service providers and passed on to customers through phone bills.

Its original purpose was to pay for a grant program to bring technology to public schools, hospitals and libraries in rural areas.

Governor Rick Perry determined in 2003 that the need had been met, but lawmakers continued to reauthorize the fee for both cell phone and land line providers.

Almost four years later, the one-point-25 percent fee is bringing in an estimated 210 (M) million dollars per year to the state.

The sponsor is Representative Joe Straus of San Antonio.