Why Do We Have a 9-1-1 Emergency Response Fee?

The 9-1-1 communication system provides immediate access to emergency services for telephone subscribers. Maintaining and upgrading the 9-1-1 communication system will ensure that it continues to operate at a state of the art level and provide a backup 911 communication system and facility that can be immediately available and operational in the event of a failure at the Santa Cruz Consolidated Emergency Communications Center.

Subscribers to telephone service in the unincorporated area of the county pay a fee which is directly related to the benefit subscribers derive from the improvements to, and operation of, the 9-1-1 communication system that is financed by the fee revenues.

The emergency response fee finances the acquisition and construction of land, equipment, software and facilities which are needed to provide an adequate and reliable 911 communication system under a single uniform management structure and to operate that 911 communication system.

How Much Is the Fee?

The amount of the fee is one dollar forty-seven cents ($1.47)  per month per access line or eleven dollars three cents (7.5 x one dollar forty-seven cents) per month per trunk line. (Ord. 4674 § 1 (part), 2002)


The following are exempt from the Emergency Response Fee:

  1. A lifeline customer of a service supplier;
  2. Any customer of a service provider who certifies that he or she is sixty-two years of age or older;
  3. Coin-operated telephones;
  4. Any person, agency or organization, when imposition of such fee upon that person, agency or organization would violate the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the state of California, or preemptive federal or state law; or
  5. Agencies which are members or associate members of the Santa Cruz Consolidated Emergency Communications Center Joint Powers Authority. (Ord. 4766 § 1, 2004: Ord. 4674 § 1 (part), 2002)

If you are aged 62 years or older, and wish to file an exemption from this fee, please contact your telephone provider and ask for an exemption from the Emergency Response fee in Santa Cruz County.