The Klamath 911 Emergency Communications District is your district, we encourage you to become educated about public safety; how it is funded and governed so that you can be an informed citizen. We hope that the information provided will help you understand the important role you play in our community.
Klamath 9-1-1 Communications District is funded primarily in two ways:
One source is a permanent tax rate of 0.1541% per $1000 of assessed property value in Klamath County and is assessed on your property tax statement. This permanent tax rate was established when the 9-1-1 system was new and technology relating to 9-1-1 call taking and public safety dispatching were relatively new. The 9-1-1 phone system and emergency dispatch system has grown significantly every year, but the tax rate has remained the same. Since this funding is a fixed permanent rate, any increase would be through the means of a local option tax that needs the approval of the voters in order to be levied. Leaving this funding stream underlocal control.
The other source of revenue is a fee that is assessed on your phone bill. This fee is collected by the State and is used to fund the uniquely specific telephone connections required to receive your 9-1-1 call; informing your dispatch center of your location in an emergency. The money that is recovered by the State of Oregon from this tax is divided to accomplish services such as maintain the infrastructure to route 911 calls, and the databases with address and location information. There is also an account that is used to pass funds to all forty 9-1-1 primary answering points throughout the state. Klamath 9-1-1 receives 1% of the funds distributed from that source.
As the communication climate with cell phones, wireless internet, text messaging and VoIP increase it is crucial that our center maintain the staff and computer technology adequate for taking 9-1-1 calls. We have been fortunate to obtain much of our advanced technology through grants awarded through our public safety partnerships. Due to our budget restrictions, however our staffing levels have not been able to keep up with the demands of increasing call volume along with increasing expertise and workload required to operate that advancing technology.