Maybe this is why we need red light camera revenue

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The city of Houston is expected to lose $2 million next year due to diminishing telephone landline franchise fees. More and more people are ending traditional phone service and relying only on cellphones, and that is costing the city millions of dollars, according to this KHOU-11 story:

So many cell phone users are simply dropping their landlines that it’s causing problems at Houston City Hall. Unlike for landlines, the city does not collect franchise fees on each and every cell phone.

Houston’s budget anticipates phone franchise fees to drop about $2 million next fiscal year. But has Houston really lost that many landlines to wireless phones?

“Frankly, I’m very suspicious,” said Mayor Bill White. “I haven’t been able to get a straight answer from SW, you know, Southwest Bell, SBC, in particular, why they’ve been paying less and less every year. And I don’t think it’s right.”

SBC responds it “accurately reports access lines totals to the city, as required by law…” and that the fees “

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Anne Linehan is a co-founder of blogHOUSTON.