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Lawmakers Upset With FDNY’s ‘Crash Tax’

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FDNY crash tax

If the FDNY gets its way it will start charging New Yorkers for emergency responses starting in the summer of 2011. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBS 2) – After the Fire Department of New York revealed its plan to charge drivers who cause car accidents with a so-called “crash tax,” two Brooklyn lawmakers are furious.

State Sen. Eric Adams and Councilman Jumaane Williams are sponsoring companion bills against FDNY’s proposal. They said they want any tax to receive state and local approval before taking effect.

“We cannot balance the budget on the backs of the unfortunate number of middle class New Yorkers merely because of a vehicle accident,” Adams said.

Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano came up with the crash tax plan, which would charge drivers up to $490 if they’re found at fault in an accident, and he estimated that the tax would add $1 million to city coffers.

“I have 20 company closings at night on the table right now. So every fee that I don’t get to collect for, that’s just another operational resource that we lose,” Cassano said.

If approved, the “crash tax” would take effect in July.

The public will have a chance to weigh-in on the proposal at a public hearing next month.

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