Georgia 911 agencies get less money; reason why is a mystery

Nearly $5 million in funding for Georgia 911 services disappeared this year, and no one has been able to explain exactly why.

The money was supposed to come from a fee on prepaid phones that were sold in the state. The fee was supposed to be 75 cents per phone, but that money never got into the hands of local agencies that do emergency 911 calls.

Funding for these services declined by 25 percent compared to last year, the Associated Press reported.

Cellphone carriers such as AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon offer prepaid plans, which charge customers upfront for phones and data without a contract.

The decline in funding for 911 agencies limits their ability to hire operators, reduce response times and upgrade technology.

The Georgia Department of Revenue has declined to comment on this story. A Georgia privacy law makes tax information a state secret.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.