NEW YORK (CBS 2) — The FDNY’s so-called “crash tax” has some new opponents.

A couple of state and local lawmakers are stepping in to try to stop a plan to charge drivers for accidents, reports CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis.

Chances are you’ve been in one, and it may have even been your fault. Either way, though, the New York Fire Department wants you to cough up the cash for getting into a crash.

“If a fire engine comes to your help, you’ve gotta pay for that service now, after paying taxes, if it’s not your fault?” Riverdale resident William Hay said.

“I mean, that’s just another excuse – it’s excuses after excuses after excuses – another way to get money out of our pockets,” Lizette Wills, of the Bronx, said.

State Senator Eric Adams and City Councilman Damani Williams are sponsoring companion bills against the proposal, calling for any crash tax to first get state and local approval.

“We find this accident tax to be horrendous,” Sen. Adams said. “We cannot balance the budget on the backs of the unfortunate number of middle class New Yorkers merely because of a vehicle accident.”

The proposed crash tax comes from the city’s fire commissioner, who wants to bill drivers for accidents, saying valuable city services are being tied up by carelessness.

He also needs to balance his budget, estimating the tax will 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,” FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano said.

The fire department would charge different prices depending on the crash – $365 for a simple car accident would become up to $490 for an accident involving fire and injuries.

The Insurance Information Institute is against the idea, saying most insurance policies wouldn’t cover it.

Drivers like cabbie Belam Buba would be on their own.

“That’s why the taxpayers, we pay our taxes – that’s why we pay our taxes,” Buba 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.

Comments (33)
  1. otto says:

    The people have spoken !!! Do not turn a deaf ear to this.

    If this ridiculous tax goes in … there will be elected officials going out.

    This WILL be remembered come election time. We have had ENOUGH !!!

  2. E.Gabor says:

    The FDNY is a huge department . You can realize the size at ST Patrick day parade .Maybe to down size the department cutting down responsibilities ,like medical response would be logical. In European countries fire fighters does not response for medical calls. It is the health department responsibility . Here in NY 8-12 firefighters sometimes two engines responds for a simple medical call .
    I do not want to question about their medical knowledge but they are primarily fire fighters and not doctors. Also here I like to mention in Europe in an EMS vehicle at least one member must have doctor degree. Do we have here in NYC a single EMS vehicle to response a call with a doctor in it? Do we have in NYC a single ambulance car with in an operation team and necessary equipment ?

    1. Diane Ott says:

      Agrrec with him!!! Wake up NYC and fight in prayer for your city and mine–pray that the God of justice and mercy t take over and reign!!! Only God can tear down this corruption inside all those government agencies that are causing us all to pay for their greediness.. Reign over NYC Lord —We need you more than anything!!!! Forgive us for our pride, grrediness and misuse of funds. Mercy Lord!!

  3. E. Gabor says:

    I would pay services in case I call for that . I suggest to introduce taxes or penalties for false fire alarms. I witnessed in the city several false or not resonable calls to private hotels ( faulty sensors , or someone smoked in hallways)
    $300 -500 per calls doesn’t make big impact on FDNY yearly budget.
    In case the fire commissioner or the mayor wants to balance the budget they can do easily from their own pocket.

  4. The Truth says:

    Fire them all. Get volunteers. They mostly live on LI and volunteer there. We don’t need them and their welfare cases. That dirtbag Carruthers gets a 250,000 pension. Tax free so that equals over 300K. Welfare train stops

    1. Mike says:

      Volunteer?? So that at 3 am when u have a fire or wake up to find ur child having a seizure instead of having someone at ur home in around 4 mins, ull have ppl who are half asleep comming from their homes? Or do they volunteer and sleep at the station? And then not have jobs.. So basically theit giving their time and their lives for no money? Sorry but that was the dummest comment ive ever heard in my life. People dont appreciate the FDNY at all. So quickly all of you have forgotten their sacrificies theyve made. Idiots. And NO im not a firefighter im an 18 yr old in college.

  5. LOL over this says:

    First you tax me for Police Fire and Sanitation services out of my salary. Then you bill me for FDNY EMS ambulance service. Now you want to tax me again for FDNY services? What’s next? A police tax for filling out an accident form? Then a Sanitation tax for sweeping away the debris? Maybe a parking enforcement Tax for blocking the street ? What a racket

    1. The Truth says:

      You got it right. This is a prelude to what else is to come. We all need to fire them and volunteer. NO PENSION COST and less whining. A girl dated some pothead fireman that got a 3/4 pension and he is working off the books now. Its a scam!

      1. Moose21 says:

        You’re attacking people that work off the books? Chances are , anyone that works a second job that tries to get by in this corrupt city works off the books. Anyone that owns a bar has people working for them off the books. Stop your hatred for the FDNY The stench you are leaving from your stupidity is nauseating.

  6. R says:

    That’s why the Arabs hate the Jews so much. They tax and take everything from them. Oh yeah, is Bloomberg a Jew? Again, I’d like to apologize to all Jews in this world for that comment. Bloomberg is shaming them in front of our very eyes. He maybe a Jew but the fact is all Jews in NYC hate him to death.

  7. travlinjack says:

    If one does not ask for services, you can not force them to pay for said service.

  8. poppy says:

    to you dom doms fdny i allready pay your wages i am not paying no more this is one more reason for the backbone of nyc the white middle class to leave your filty city

  9. Bluntberg says:

    Please, can somebody save us from Bloomberg? This mogul is killing us legal I guess he wants the city for himself.

  10. pxm001 says:

    Seems like now would be a good time to start electing city officials who can balance a budget, add and subtract, and maybe even balance their own check book.

  11. luis a. ramos says:

    the councilmembers name is jumanne williams

  12. Nonya Bizness says:

    This is absolutely outrageous! Don’t we already pay for these services in the form of income and sales taxes? If this ludicrous idea ever gets past the idiot that thought it up the tax payers will burn down the fire houses!

  13. EEE says:

    This is the first time I have ever seen all posters on the same side. I have a little more faith ion humanity, now. It seems we can put aside our differences for a few minutes and come to a common agreement. This tax is just one big pathetic idea. Wanna save money? Fix mismanagement!

  14. ME says:


    1. WOODSIDE MIKEY says:


  15. old nasty says:

    Let’s pass a new law in favor of the people.If the fire or police department dosen’t show up on scene,with in ten minutes of being called.We will decduct one percent of their annual buget for each minute their late!

    1. john says:

      good ,better, best idea in my lifetime,

  16. Joe Blow says:

    Are these costs offset by the amount of personal property stolen by FDNY at fires and accidents? I mean if they lift my $150 iPod does that reduce the amount I have to pay for them to destroy what’s left of my car or home?

  17. reh2546 says:

    All motorists are preyed up by the NYPD and DOT for their money. Unless you have a badge or are politician you will get gotcha’d. Plan and simple. The city plays are the tricks and traps on the motorists. Now this fee. Another abuse. We need to vote these crooks out of office.

  18. MrChinaski says:

    What the hell does the FDNY do anyhow? Maybe once a year you see them actually fighting a fire. The rest of the time they are at the supermarket shopping… rubbing our faces in the fact that they are working on huge tax payer funded pensions while they sit around and cook each other dinner… What a crock! I am all for shutting down firehouses. Have you ever seen a house or building on fire that was SAVED by the FDNY? Of course not. They burn out, they are destroyed and cleaned up. Get rid of these obnoxious a-holes and hire more EMTs and police!

    1. Mike says:

      Your a real moron.. Go read the statistics… One of the busiest departments in the country. With THOUSANDS OF LIVES SAVED A YEAR. So i guess they did nothing on 9-11 right? The biggest rescue mission in the history of the department? And of america? Yea your so intelligent. You stated that the entire department fights one fire a year. They fought over 3500 fires in the month of november. And responded to over 17,000 medical emergencies.. So yea, your deffinately right.

    2. ron darcy says:

      dont be jealous, you could have applied for the job if you weren’t a Coward!

  19. BloombergSucks says:

    Ah, Bloomberg is doing a fine job with this 3rd term. Obviously, his experience as a professional crook is rubbing off on everyone!!!!

  20. Rachel Storm Rabinowitz says:

    charging money for absolutly NO service and hanging out hiding from their dispatch

  21. bill says:

    Yeah!PD and EMS should also have a list of fees as well. Get real and stop sucking the average person dry.

  22. Ricky says:

    New York and New Jersey, does anyone wonder why the south is becoming full of us damn yankees?

  23. Jen says:

    If it isn’t your fault and nsurance won’t pay I will take the other driver who hit me to court. Lets tie up the city courts even more!

  24. David says:

    Here is another fine example of why I moved away from NY to the midwest.

  25. bush says:

    This stupid “crash tax” is just one step away from members of the FDNY going out and simply robbing people. “Hey, we need to keep the firehouses open, so anything goes”. No, it doesn’t. The city is broke because of corruption and mismanagement. Don’t take it out on the hard working middle class people. I love my fellow New Yorkers and I am disgusted that something like this is even being considered. Sal Cassano, you should be ashamed of yourself for your comment and your position on this issue.

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