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Monthly cell phone fee starts today

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It will cost more to talk on the phone starting today.

All Wisconsin phone lines will have a 75 cent monthly fee as part of the new state budget.

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It's expected to raise $107 million over the next two years for local police and fire services, as well as 911 dispatch centers.

The state Public Service Commission says the fee applies to both landlines and cell phones.

Fax lines will get it, too. Businesses will pay the fee on the first 10 connections and additional connections will get a three-fourths of a 1 cent fee.

Also, there's a 38 cent fee on transactions related to pre-paid wireless plans for things like handsets or pre-paid minutes purchased in advance.

One report this summer said the Legislature worded the law so the fees would not have to show up on your phone bill.

But industry groups say most companies will itemize it, and make sure you see it.

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