The Sacramento City Council wasset to vote on a controversial “crash tax” earlier this week, but it wasremoved from the council’s agenda hours before the vote was to have takenplace.
The crash tax would have charged individuals who do not livein Sacramentoadditional fees if they are at fault in an accident. The fees would range from$435 if a fire crew is called, $680 if a fire is put out, $1,875 if the jaws oflife are used, to $2,275 if a helicopter is called to transport an injuredindividual. The fines would be a way ofrecovering some costs for fire and police services. The city estimates thecrash tax would generate $1 million in revenue per year.
However, critics of the plan point out that insurancecompanies could end up paying the fines, which would result in increasedinsurance rates for everyone. Critics also point out that the plan woulddiscourage visitors and could hurt small businesses who operate a fleet ofvehicles in nearby cities.
If the measure passes, Sacramentowill be the largest city in the country with a crash tax. Loomis, Roseville and Stocktonalready have a crash tax in place. Eight states currently have laws againstcrash taxes. The fees would begin October 1.
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