With legislation that will be introduced into the City Council on March 23, the councilman aims to halt any efforts to enact a measure that would require motorists to pay a fine when the Fire Department is called to the scene of an accident.
But Vallone’s legislation isn’t only for the FDNY. It applies to all city agencies.
“As soon as I heard about it, I immediately thought of legislation that would ban any agency from charging the public,” Vallone said.
If passed, city agencies would be banned from charging fees to any public safety service they provide without City Council approval.
Vallone, who chairs the Public Safety Committee, questioned whether the FDNY charge would lead the Police Department, for example, to feel the need to charge a storeowner if their store was hit by shoplifters and cops had to be called to the scene.
“It was a bad idea the first time I heard it, and it could open the door to even more ridiculous taxes,” he said.
In December, the FDNY proposed a charge of $490 for a crash or a car fire with an injury, $415 for a car fire without injuries, and $365 for an accident where no one is hurt.
Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley and Councilman Leroy Comrie have already expressed their opposition to the proposal.
Crowley, who chairs the Fire and Criminal Justice Services Committee, called it an act of double-dipping.
Comrie noted that unintended consequences could arise, mainly a spike in hit-and-run accidents.