As states across the country face record budget deficits, many Americans have seen their property taxes rise to fund necessary city-provided services like road maintenance, education, and emergency services. Even with those property tax increases, cities have continued to struggle with their finances and have become resourceful in order to meet their bottom line. One common proposal in cities across the country has been the implementation of a crash tax, which would impose fees on those involved in car accidents to help pay for emergency police and fire response and accident clean-up. Not surprisingly, a recent poll found that the majority of Americans oppose such crash taxes.
The poll, which was taken by Harris Interactive for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, questioned 1,428 Americans across the country on their opinions of crash tax propositions. Respondents were overwhelmingly against crash taxes, with 76 percent stating that their current local taxes should cover the fees incurred in an accident. “There is strong public opposition across the country to this new trend of charging accident respondent fees,” said Robert Passmore of PCI. “Motorists clearly see this for what it is: local governments trying to impose a hidden, double tax on consumers.”
One major concern raised in the survey was that a car accident tax would deter travel and tourism and ultimately harm local businesses. Approximately 40 percent of respondents stated that they would hesitate to travel in towns with a crash tax law. “The crash tax adds insult to injury by victimizing drivers twice – once by being in an unfortunate accident and then again with a fee,” Passmore said. “Then when you add the potential negative impact on local businesses, charging for emergency services is simply a bad public policy option for local governments.”
If you or a family member has been injured in a car accident, please contact Breslin & Breslin for a free consultation.
Source: Insurance Journal, “Poll: Public Opposes Crash Taxes”, 31 January 2011