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Published May 30, 2012, 03:22 PM

ND telephone tax for deaf stays at 4 cents a line

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A monthly state telephone tax will stay at 4 cents per line. North Dakota's Public Service Commission on Wednesday ordered the 4-cent tax to continue through June 2013.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A monthly state telephone tax will stay at 4 cents per line. North Dakota's Public Service Commission on Wednesday ordered the 4-cent tax to continue through June 2013.

The tax is assessed every month against almost 720,000 telephone access lines and cellphones. The tax pays for a telephone relay service for people who have difficulty hearing or speaking.

The service provides an operator who relays messages by speaking or typing text messages.

The tax also pays for equipment to help low-income people use the system. North Dakota's Information Technology Department estimates the tax will raise $574,000 during the next budget year.

The relay service costs $235,000, and $250,000 is set aside for equipment. The tax has been in effect since 1993. It's limited to 11 cents a month.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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