Dialing for dollars

Cell-phone-tax refund process available

Chico residents now seeking to apply for a “phone tax” refund—guaranteed by the defeat of Measure J on last November’s ballot—can now find an application to do so on the city of Chico’s website.

Individuals must complete the application and show documentation that they were charged and paid the 5 percent utility-users tax for cell phone or Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) services in the last 12 months. Refunds will be paid beginning Feb. 21, and those not collected within the next year will be placed in the city’s general fund.

Measure J was defeated by 54 percent of Chico voters. Prior to that, the city was collecting about $900,000 annually from cell-phone taxes. The City Council is still trying to figure out how to replace the loss to the city’s general fund.