Monday, June 6, 2011

"Crash tax" retained in nonmetropolitan California

The Sacramento Bee reported today that, while Sacramento and Roseville have recently rescinded so-called crash taxes, some smaller municipalities in central and northern California have retained them. Here's an excerpt:

Sacramento and Roseville killed "crash taxes" earlier this year amid political push-back, but small towns and rural fire districts across the region still have the controversial emergency-recovery fees in place.

Fire departments, especially those along the Interstate 80 and Highway 50 corridors, continue to bill out-of-town motorists when crews respond to accidents.

Some fire officials say the fees, which range from about $400 to $2,500, are an important source of extra income in tough times and haven't resulted in political strife, as they did in Sacramento.

Critics in the capital said the fees targeting out-of-towners would hurt business and tourism, and had angered neighboring localities.

But a number of area fire districts have no plans to eliminate them.

Among the municipalities and fire districts collecting the tax: Newcastle and Woodland. Newcastle is a Census Designated Place but without a population figure on the U.S. Census Bureau's American FactFinder website. Woodland is much larger, the county seat of Yolo County, with a population of 53,069. Both are part of the greater Sacramento metropolitan area.

I wonder if this means that smaller municipalities are even more desperate for revenue than large ones. They also seem less concerned that these fees might put a damper on business.

No comments: