Vermont Universal Service Fund
The Vermont Universal Service Fund ("VUSF") supports three statewide programs:
- the Vermont Enhanced E-911 program, which provides emergency telecommunications services;
- the Vermont Telephone Lifeline Program, which reduces the cost of basic telephone service to participating residential customers; and
- the Vermont Telecommunications Relay Service, which provides assistance for deaf, hard of hearing, and speech disabled citizens and those who communicate with such citizens using telecommunications.
To finance these programs, Vermont law imposes a broad-based charge ("VUSF Charge") on all telecommunications services that interact with the public switched network. The VUSF Charge applies to "intrastate" services provided in Vermont as well as to "interstate" services that are billed to a Vermont address. The VUSF charge is a uniform rate for all services in a given year, and applies only to retail revenues. The VUSF rate is set annually by the Public Service Board.
Current VUSF Rate
For the period September 1, 2011, through August 31, 2012, the VUSF rate is 1.60%.
For the period September 1, 2012, through August 31, 2013, the VUSF rate will be 1.82%.
VUSF Fiscal Agent
The Fiscal Agent is the financial hub of the VUSF system. Telecommunications companies collect VUSF Charges from their customers and send the funds to the Fiscal Agent for deposit into the VUSF. The Fiscal Agent disburses funds from the VUSF to finance the programs authorized by the Legislature, and invests current fund balances. Every year the VUSF is audited by an independent auditor selected by the Board and approved by the Vermont Auditor of Accounts.
The current VUSF Fiscal Agent is Rolka Loube Saltzer Associates. All VUSF payments should be made to this Fiscal Agent. Contact the Fiscal Agent to receive forms and information and to submit remittances. The Fiscal Agent can be reached at www.r-l-s-a.com/Vermont/index.htm or at 717-237-6748 voice or 717-231-6667 fax.
The Board has issued two Letters of Interpretation describing services that are subject to the VUSF charge and services that are exempt.
- September 9, 1994, which relates to many types of services;
- October 29, 1999, which relates solely to paging companies.