The “Crash Tax”
Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 05:17pm 8 Comments
Apparently the FDNY is going to implement emergency services “crash tax” starting next year.
“Getting hurt in a car accident is painful enough, but if firefighters have to respond, expect more pain — in your wallet.
Starting next summer, the city plans to bill drivers in accidents that require an emergency response.
The so-called “crash tax” works like this: A car fire or accident with injury would cost you $490. A car fire without injury, $415. And any vehicle accident without injury will run you $365.”
Worse yet, the department will charge you even if the accident wasn’t your fault.
“The FDNY says: “We want to relieve pressure on the taxpayer and place it on those at fault and their insurance. Right now if you’re at fault at an accident or a vehicle fire, you get a free ride. And that should not be borne by the taxpayers.”
Wait, hold on, so I should get government approved healthcare, but if my life is in jeopardy it is asking too much to have a “free ride” from a group of men who are paid to save my life in the first place?! If I was receiving a tax deduction and merely had to pay every time I use a service, I would understand and encourage this new practice. However, I was under the impression that my taxes contributed to the preservation of my life in an emergency. In other words, is it fair to bill people twice for the same services?
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If you are a NYC taxpayer I'd say you deserved either a pass or a discounted rate. But emergency responders don't know where a victim pays taxes while en route to a "scene", and so must provide a standard level of service when they arrive. But whatever they do in response to the call costs extra money. So I can understand the necessity of setting up some type of recompense system.
I once was board member for a volunteer ambulance service, and went through many iterations of determining an equitable method of charging members and non-members differing but fair rates for our services.
Fyi, you might be surprised at how many multiple-repeat customers there are out there, too. A fee charge system also seems to have an impact discouraging that issue. Don't know why.
If Mayor Bloomberg approves of this, it must be for our own good, right? [/sarc]
Looks like just another reason to avoid NYC.
Wonder what happens with the UN diplomat wrecks?
I suppose the hapless American citizen has to pay for them too.
Despite things like this on his mayoral record, multibillionaire Mike Bloomberg is said to be weighting a self-financed run for President.
Why are successful businessmen like Bloomberg and Mitt Romney such disappointing politicians? IMHO one reason is that success begets a cocoon of yes-men.
This policy was just implemented this in our area of VA. I agree with it wholeheartedly — it is in response to a certain group that thinks it's ok to call 9-11 for a hangnail.
In some areas (like this one), ambulance-runs automatically bring at least 1 fire-engine company as well–no matter the nature of the call.
It's featherbedding, of course. And as NYC recognized, featherbedding costs money.
I feel maybe, the unions and cities are looking for creative ways to fund future pay hikes and benefits. Quick thinking at that.
I guess they haven't looked thoroughly at the statistics to see how may of these accidents are caused by uninsured, unlicensed, illegals = no insurance money. BUT maybe the tax is only for the insured, licensed and legal. That seems fair to me.
Quincy, Ma has already implemented it. More homestate pride for me.
1. 49erDweet said…Fyi, you might be surprised at how many multiple-repeat customers there are out there, too. A fee charge system also seems to have an impact discouraging that issue. Don't know why.
Point taken, but perhaps it can be addressed by setting a maximum number of free responses and charging beyond that. Doesn't AAA do something similar? Isn't that what telephone companies do for calls to Information?
2. Stop shouting… said…This policy was just implemented this in our area of VA. I agree with it wholeheartedly — it is in response to a certain group that thinks it's ok to call 9-11 for a hangnail.
Once upon a time calls to Information were free with no quota. My military roommate in the late 1960s felt it beneath him to pick up the phone book. He called 411 every time he ordered a pizza or made a reservation. Sheesh. I wasn't surprised to learn that he became a classic yuppie after he got out.