2017 ORS 759.685¹
Surcharge assessed on retail telecommunications subscribers
  • rules

(1)(a) In order to fund the programs provided in sections 2 to 6, chapter 290, Oregon Laws 1987, and ORS 759.693 (Definitions) to 759.698 (Eligibility to receive telecommunication devices or adaptive equipment), the Public Utility Commission shall develop and implement a system for assessing a surcharge in an amount not to exceed 35 cents per month against each paying retail subscriber who has telecommunications service, or who has interconnected voice over internet protocol service, with access to a telecommunications relay service. The commission shall apply the surcharge on a telecommunications circuit designated for a particular subscriber. One subscriber line must be counted for each circuit that is capable of generating usage on the line side of the switched network regardless of the quantity of customer premises equipment connected to each circuit. For providers of central office based services, the surcharge must be applied to each line that has unrestricted connection to the telecommunications relay service or, for lines that have restricted access to the telecommunications relay service, on the basis of software design. For cellular, wireless or other radio common carriers, the surcharge must be applied on a per instrument basis and only to subscribers whose place of primary use, as defined and determined under 4 U.S.C. 116 to 126, is within this state.

(b) For purposes of this subsection, the commission shall adopt by rule the definition for “interconnected voice over internet protocol service.” The rule defining “interconnected voice over internet protocol service” must be consistent with the definition for “interconnected VoIP service” in 47 C.F.R. 9.3.

(2) The surcharge imposed by subsection (1) of this section does not apply to:

(a) Services upon which the state is prohibited from imposing the surcharge by the Constitution or laws of the United States or the Constitution or laws of the State of Oregon.

(b) Interconnection between telecommunications utilities, telecommunications cooperatives, competitive telecommunications services providers certified under ORS 759.020 (Certificate of authority), radio common carriers and interexchange carriers.

(3) The commission annually shall review the surcharge and the balance in the Residential Service Protection Fund established under ORS 759.687 (Residential Service Protection Fund) and may make adjustments to the amount of the surcharge to ensure that the fund has adequate resources, provided that the fund balance does not exceed six months of projected expenses.

(4) Moneys collected pursuant to the surcharge may not be considered in any proceeding to establish rates for telecommunication service.

(5) The commission shall direct telecommunications public utilities to identify separately in bills to customers for service the surcharge imposed under this section.

(6) Notwithstanding ORS 314.835 (Divulging particulars of returns and reports prohibited) and 314.840 (Disclosure of information), the Department of Revenue may disclose information received under ORS 403.200 (Imposition of tax) to 403.230 (Application of other laws) to the commission to carry out the provisions of chapter 290, Oregon Laws 1987.

(7) The commission may disclose information obtained pursuant to chapter 290, Oregon Laws 1987, to the department to administer the tax imposed under ORS 403.200 (Imposition of tax) to 403.230 (Application of other laws). [1987 c.290 §7; 1991 c.622 §2; 1991 c.872 §8; 1993 c.231 §1; 1995 c.79 §387; 1995 c.451 §1; 2001 c.408 §2; 2011 c.78 §1; 2017 c.237 §1]

Note: The amendments to 759.685 (Surcharge assessed on retail telecommunications subscribers) by section 3, chapter 434, Oregon Laws 2017, become operative January 2, 2023, unless the participation rate in the plan of assistance established under section 6, chapter 290, Oregon Laws 1987, increases to at least 26 percent between January 1, 2018, and January 1, 2023, in which case the amendments become operative January 2, 2030. See section 6, chapter 434, Oregon Laws 2017. 759.685 (Surcharge assessed on retail telecommunications subscribers), as amended by section 3, chapter 434, Oregon Laws 2017, is set forth for the user’s convenience.

759.685 (Surcharge assessed on retail telecommunications subscribers). (1)(a) In order to fund the program described in ORS 759.693 (Definitions) to 759.698 (Eligibility to receive telecommunication devices or adaptive equipment), the Public Utility Commission shall develop and implement a system for assessing a surcharge in an amount not to exceed 35 cents per month against each paying retail subscriber who has telecommunications service, or who has interconnected voice over internet protocol service, with access to a telecommunications relay service. The commission shall apply the surcharge on a telecommunications circuit designated for a particular subscriber. One subscriber line must be counted for each circuit that is capable of generating usage on the line side of the switched network regardless of the quantity of customer premises equipment connected to each circuit. For providers of central office based services, the surcharge must be applied to each line that has unrestricted connection to the telecommunications relay service or, for lines that have restricted access to the telecommunications relay service, on the basis of software design. For cellular, wireless or other radio common carriers, the surcharge must be applied on a per instrument basis and only to subscribers whose place of primary use, as defined and determined under 4 U.S.C. 116 to 126, is within this state.

(b) For purposes of this subsection, the commission shall adopt by rule the definition for “interconnected voice over internet protocol service.” The rule defining “interconnected voice over internet protocol service” must be consistent with the definition for “interconnected VoIP service” in 47 C.F.R. 9.3.

(2) The surcharge imposed by subsection (1) of this section does not apply to:

(a) Services upon which the state is prohibited from imposing the surcharge by the Constitution or laws of the United States or the Constitution or laws of the State of Oregon.

(b) Interconnection between telecommunications utilities, telecommunications cooperatives, competitive telecommunications services providers certified under ORS 759.020 (Certificate of authority), radio common carriers and interexchange carriers.

(3) The commission annually shall review the surcharge and the balance in the Residential Service Protection Fund established under ORS 759.687 (Residential Service Protection Fund) and may make adjustments to the amount of the surcharge to ensure that the fund has adequate resources, provided that the fund balance does not exceed six months of projected expenses.

(4) Moneys collected pursuant to the surcharge may not be considered in any proceeding to establish rates for telecommunication service.

(5) The commission shall direct telecommunications public utilities to identify separately in bills to customers for service the surcharge imposed under this section.

(6) Notwithstanding ORS 314.835 (Divulging particulars of returns and reports prohibited) and 314.840 (Disclosure of information), the Department of Revenue may disclose information received under ORS 403.200 (Imposition of tax) to 403.230 (Application of other laws) to the commission to carry out the provisions of ORS 759.693 (Definitions) to 759.698 (Eligibility to receive telecommunication devices or adaptive equipment).

(7) The commission may disclose information obtained pursuant to ORS 759.693 (Definitions) to 759.698 (Eligibility to receive telecommunication devices or adaptive equipment) to the department to administer the tax imposed under ORS 403.200 (Imposition of tax) to 403.230 (Application of other laws).

Note: Section 6, chapter 434, Oregon Laws 2017, provides:

Sec. 6. (1) The amendments to section 7, chapter 290, Oregon Laws 1987 [759.685 (Surcharge assessed on retail telecommunications subscribers)], by section 3 of this 2017 Act become operative on January 2, 2023.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, if the participation rate in the plan of assistance established by the Public Utility Commission under section 6, chapter 290, Oregon Laws 1987, increases to at least 26 percent between January 1, 2018, and January 1, 2023, the amendments to section 7, chapter 290, Oregon Laws 1987, by section 3 of this 2017 Act become operative on January 2, 2030. [2017 c.434 §6]

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 759—Telecommunications Utility Regulation, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors759.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 OregonLaws.org contains the con­tents of Volume 21 of the ORS, inserted along­side the per­tin­ent statutes. See the preface to the ORS An­no­ta­tions for more information.
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.