Sacramento implements ‘crash tax’; non-city residents required to pay up

01/26/2011 // Greensboro, NC, USA // Personal Injury Lawyers News // Nicole Howley

Sacramento, CA– If you get into a wreck in Sacramento, California be prepared to pay up. The City Council voted 5-4 on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 to implement a “crash tax” for non-city residents who get into a crash and require the Fire Department’s response, as reported by the Sacramento Bee.

Nonresidents will be charged $495 if they are involved in a “typical incident,” which involves “scene stabilization” by the Fire Department and gasoline or oil cleanup. If a helicopter is required, that will cost you $2,275.

The “crash tax” is not a tax–its a fee–and will not provide Sacramento with revenue beyond what is spent on the Fire Department’s response.

Advocates of the fees assert that the “charges represent a fair piece of the cost that the cities incur responding to thousand of wrecks each year.” In addition, city officials hope that the fee will keep the Fire Department from future budget cuts.

Opponents of the fee claim that the programs act as “double taxes” which are charged to out-of-towners whose sales tax contributions have already paid for the emergency services. Florida and Pennsylvania have outlawed such programs.

Sacramento’s Fire Department responds to 3,600 accidents a year, city officials said.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for California lawyers.

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