In some cash-strapped municipalities throughout the country, residents are being double taxed to raise money to help fund local police and fire departments.
According to MSNBC, municipalities in as many as 34 States have taken to charging motorists for police and fire response to the scene of an accident. The fees can range into the hundreds of dollars.
The fees, dubbed “accident response fees” or “crash taxes,” are usually billed to a motorist’s insurance company. But in some cases a collection agency winds up trying to collect from the individual.
The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies is among the insurance organizations working to do away with the fees. Joe Thesing, assistant vice president-state affairs with NAMIC, says that insurance policies usually don’t cover non-medical accident response, so the victims end up footing the bill.
“These fees are a form of double taxation applied only to responsible citizens who follow state law and carry auto insurance,” Thesing said. “It’s our belief that responding to investigative accidents is a function of police and fire departments supported by local taxes.”