Accident Tax at the Center of Capitol Debate
When the fire department responds to an auto accident caused by a nonlocal driver, who should foot the bill? That question is in the air around the capitol, thanks to a move by auto insurers and other groups to stop local governments from levying fees for emergency services.The controversial fees, which are being implemented by several local California governments, charge at-fault nonlocal drivers for fire and other emergency services. The reasoning behind the proposals is that local residents pay for their emergency services through property taxes, while nonresidents who cause accidents are effectively getting services for free.
Opponents of the proposals are lobbying at the state capitol to put an end to the practice. According to insurers and other special interests trying to block the action, these fees for service effectively charge drivers twice-once for property taxes in their home communities and again through insurance premium increases.
Advocates of the practice maintain that this is not a revenue-generating fee. The fee merely covers the cost of maintenance, equipment and fuel that are expended cleaning up after accidents on California’s roadways.
As budget cutbacks and a slowing economy affect communities, more local governments are considering levying the fees. According to the article, Los Angeles, San Diego, Oakland, Sacramento and other California communities with considerable drive-through traffic are considering charging at-fault auto accident victims for fire and other emergency services.
If you have any questions about the costs of auto accidents, please contact the Los Angeles auto accident lawyersat the Law Offices of Samer Habbas.