Taxes & Fees

Account Setup Fee

The Account Setup Fee is a one-time fee that covers the work to set up your account and activate the service.

City Occupation Tax

An occupation tax levied on Digital Passage by some local governments. The rate can change quarterly. By state law, the tax is passed directly to customers.

City Sales Tax

City sales taxes are imposed by some municipalities. State statutes may allow the provider to pass the assessment on to customers. Rates for these taxes vary by city, as well as by the products and services being taxed. Your bill will show two or more “city sales tax” lines if different city sales taxes are applied to various products and services. Additionally, some cities may impose separate occupation taxes on Digital Passage, and these are passed on to the customer pursuant to tariff rules.

County Sales Tax

Tax imposed by the county government. Rates, taxed services, and allocation of tax revenues vary by county. This is also known as a Local County Tax.

E911 Equalization Surcharge

This surcharge provides supplemental funding to regions that do not collect enough money through the 911 Emergency Service Fee to maintain an adequate level of 911 service. It also helps to support 911 rural efforts. Funding goes to regional 911 planning commissions to implement the 911 service and to the State Department of Health to fund poison research and maintenance of the poison control centers.

E911 Recovery Fee

The E911 Cost Recovery Fee is a fee which allows Digital Passage to recover the costs of providing this service and maintain full compliance with all regulatory requirements associated with providing this service.

E911 Tax

The 911 Emergency Service Fee provides funding for the operation of 911 emergency telecommunications services in your area. Emergency personnel must have the capability to identify the location of a caller when they dial 911. The fee, which is applied per access line, funds communications systems that support emergency and quick response police, fire and ambulance services with identification of phone number and location. Customers pay for this service and other 911 communication costs through state and county 911 surcharges. Not all counties have the 911 system yet but may collect for future implementation.

The money from the 911 fee can only be spent in the region in which it is collected. The Commission on State Emergency Communications (CSEC), which administers 911 services, allocates funds for specific needs to the individual regional planning commissions. In some states, this fee may appear on the bill combined with other similar fees and surcharges, including Relay/911/Tele Assist Fee

FCC Regulatory Fee

The Federal Regulatory Recovery fee is a percentage of interstate and international usage. It helps recover the amount paid to the federal government for regulatory costs and telecommunication services for the hearing-impaired.

State Infrastructure Fund

Provides financing for equipment purchases for advanced telecommunications services to public schools, hospitals, and libraries. Funds are distributed by grants. Institutions like public schools, hospitals, and libraries that apply and qualify for the grants covered under the program.

State Sales Tax

State sales tax is imposed by your state government. The services that the tax is applied to vary by state.

Telecommunications Relay Surcharge

This surcharge helps fund communication solutions for hearing- and speech-impaired individuals. This includes telecommunications devices and relay services for hearing- and speech-impaired individuals, the telecommunications relay center, which helps hearing- and speech-impaired individuals communicate, and Federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.

The surcharge does not apply with Remote Call Forwarding service. This surcharge is collected by Digital Passage and paid to the appropriate state authority. The state authorities use the funds collected to provide telecommunications services for those with special needs.

Federal Universal Service Fund (USF)

The Federal Universal Service Fund (USF) charge is an FCC-regulated charge that supports telecommunications services in schools, public libraries, and rural healthcare facilities. It also subsidizes local service to high-cost areas and low-income customers. It is a monthly per-line surcharge helps keep local telephone rates affordable.

Starting January 1, 2023, the FCC increased the Universal Service Fund (USF) charge for all markets from 28.9% to 32.6% on applicable qualified charges. This change will automatically show up on customer bills where applicable.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which regulates all telecommunications companies, set up the Universal Service Fund in 1997. All long distance companies, local telephone companies, cellular companies, paging companies and pay phone providers that provide service between states contribute a percentage of the total amount they bill to the fund. As a telecommunications company, Digital Passage contributes to this fund, and we recover our cost in the form of this charge, as allowed by the FCC.

The money is used to help organizations like schools, libraries, and rural health care providers that operate in high-cost areas by giving them discounts on telecommunications services. The fund supports programs that provide discounted essential service and free service installations to income-eligible families.

Part of the money also helps keep your local telephone service reasonably priced. The Universal Service Fund is one source that helps make it possible for telephone companies to service remote areas without having to raise everyone’s rates. It’s more costly for telephone companies to provide service in remote or rural areas than it is in densely populated cities.

The amount could vary because the charge is a percentage of the total dollar amount of your phone-related services.

The FCC sets the percentage amount and can change the amount once a quarter.

State-Level Universal Service Fund (USF)

Texas Universal Service Fund (USF)

The Texas Universal Service Fund (USF) charge is a surcharge that voice service providers assess to recover their required contributions to the Texas Universal Service Fund. The TX USF primarily supports a program that assists small telephone companies and co-ops providing service in rural areas. Digital Passage does not receive any support from this fund. The fund also supports the Specialized Telecommunications Assistance Program (STAP), Relay Texas, and lifeline.

The surcharge is assessed on intrastate voice charges — i.e., calling within Texas — and includes voice telephone service charges and intrastate long-distance services charges.

The surcharge has been the subject of litigation in Texas brought by small telephone companies and co-ops who asserted that the Texas Public Utilities Commission had been underpaying them Universal Service Funds. Recently, a court agreed with them and ordered the Texas Public Utilities Commission to repay small telephone companies and co-ops the shortfall. To collect this shortfall, the Commission ordered all voice telecommunications providers to increase payments to the fund from 3.3% to 24%, resulting in a significantly higher consumer surcharge assessment.

This surcharge helps keep local service rates affordable for all residents of the state, subsidizes specialized telecommunications programs, and provides discounts to low-income families.

This surcharge is a funding mechanism for your state’s Universal Service Fund (USF). The largest part of the Universal Service Fund helps fund telecommunications services to the rural, high-cost areas of the state, which helps keep phone services reasonably priced for all residents.

It also provides financial support for specialized telecommunications programs like Relay and Specialized Telecommunications Device Assistance programs for the speech- and hearing-impaired and physically disabled.

Finally, the Universal Service Fund provides assistance to income-eligible customers who qualify for discount service programs.

The amount could vary because the charge is a percentage of the total dollar amount of your phone-related services.

State legislature can choose to add this charge for customers.