Vallone aims to smash FDNY’s “crash tax”
by Lisa A. Fraser
Mar 01, 2011 | 8348 views | 1 1 comments | 57 57 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Firefighters on the scene of an accident on Grand Avenue last week. A new proposal could charge motorists if they are involved in an accident that requires the FDNY on the scene.
Firefighters on the scene of an accident on Grand Avenue last week. A new proposal could charge motorists if they are involved in an accident that requires the FDNY on the scene.
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Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr. is taking on the Fire Department’s proposed “crash tax.”

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.

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PattiKB
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March 11, 2011
So, why do we have to pay for ambulances now?? They are supposed to be under the FDNY, yet I got a bill from them for what my insurance didn't pay. This, too is a bad idea, as it could cause people who need help fast to resort to driving or calling a cab to get to the hospital. And we already pay taxes to support the FDNY. Enough trying to raise money in ill-conceived and greedy ways.