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Chicago City Council OKs Increase to Phone Tax

Phone surcharge will increase from $2.50 a month to $3.90

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7/30/2014: Phone surcharge will increase from $2.50 a month to $3.90. NBC 5's Mary Ann Ahern reports.

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Without debate, the Chicago City Council on Wednesday approved a 56 percent increase in the monthly surcharge tacked on to telephone bills.

Starting Sept. 1, every cell phone and landline in Chicago will face the increased tax, rising from $2.50 a month to $3.90.

Taxes on prepaid phones will also rise from 7 to 9 percent.

Ald. Ed Burke (14th) called it a "wise and appropriate move."

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago's aldermen said the money will be used to fund the city's high-tech 911 emergency center and to help shore up pension funding.

The tax will raise $10 million this year and $50 million in 2015.

But many residents are sick of one more increased tax.

"I'm kinda used to taxes rising, I mean Chicago is pretty good at that, America is pretty good at that. What can you do?" Chicago resident Adonnis Williams said.

Lawmakers implemented the phone tax as an alternative to increasing property taxes in the city. 

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