Crash taxes being embraced by California, considered by New York

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Crash taxes being embraced by California, considered by New York
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Three years ago, I talked about something that had popped up in a couple of jurisdictions around the country called “crash taxes.” Boy, did I think they were a bad idea back then. Now New York and California are jumping on the bandwagon with this controversial tax.

OK, most of us gladly pay taxes for police and fire protection, right? Now picture this: You’re in an accident and both the police and the firefighters respond, along with possibly some emergency workers. Next thing you know, you get a bill for them having shown up!

The Los Angeles Times says more than 50 cities in California have adopted crash taxes — can you imagine that considering the Golden State’s already massive taxes?! New York, meanwhile, has a proposal on the books to charge $500 if a firefighter has to come to an accident because your vehicle catches on fire!

My take is, if you’re not paying taxes for basic services like police and firefighters, then what are you paying them for? Ten states have outlawed crash taxes, according to The Los Angeles Times. Well, what are the other 40 thinking? Why are we paying taxes?!

All across America, people pay local taxes, virtually without any dispute, for police, fire and emergency services. So we’re paying…just to be charged an additional user fee if we’re in an accident?!

I remember a caller I had who was in an accident. He was not his fault, yet he was being billed for the emergency services on the scene. His insurer wouldn’t pay because they said the other party was at fault…and this poor caller was caught in the middle.

I know times are tough for government at all levels, but to then charge people for this? This is just plain wrong!

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Clark Howard About the author:
Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. More about Clark
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