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FDNY ‘Crash Tax’ Proposal Debated At Public Hearing

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A New York City Fire Department (FDNY) engine is seen outside a firehouse - Brooklyn, NY - Nov 19, 2010 - Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Fire Engine (credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Al Jones Al Jones
A native of Grand Forks, North Dakota, Al Jones has been with 1010...
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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — The fire department calls it charges for motorists services. Opponents call it a “crash tax.”

As of now, there is no timetable for the tax, which would impose up to a $500 charge for accidents requiring an emergency response from the FDNY, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reports. The debate, however, continues to be heated.


1010 WINS Reporter Al Jones looks into the debate over the FDNY’s proposed ‘crash tax’

John Corlett of AAA said a response to a car accident was a core service of government.

“Imposing crash taxes on individuals literally adds insult to injury,” Corlett said at a public hearing at FDNY Headquarters in Brooklyn.

Insurance companies have also voiced opposition to the “crash tax” and said that most policies wouldn’t cover the bills.

“If the Fire Department responds to a fire, no bill is sent. If the police officer responds to a domestic disturbance or a business break-in, there’s no bill ever sent,” Ellen Melchionni with the State Insurance Association said.

However, the FDNY’s legal counsel, Julian Basil, said the tax is among the ways to help the cash-starved Department.

“When the alternative is shortfall in Fire Department services, I think they might be more willing to pay a small amount,” he said. “It is a practice that seems to be occurring in other parts of the country.”

The city estimates that the proposal could raise $1 million in revenue.

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