Nebraska retailers that sell prepaid cell phones and phone cards will collect a surcharge from new customers starting in January.
The Nebraska Department of Revenue announced Monday that customers will pay a 1.1% surcharge in 2013, in addition to state and local sales taxes of up to 7%.
The charge comes from a law approved in April that requires retailers to collect the surcharge on behalf of prepaid phone companies. The phone companies usually can't collect it themselves, because they don't interact directly with customers. As a result, they're forced to absorb the cost.
The surcharge pays for 911 service and technology to help the hearing impaired.
The new charge does not apply to users on a calling plan, who already pay it through their monthly bill.