City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

March 2, 2011
Are City Hall honchos relieved 'crash tax' is dead?

They may have touted it as a band-aid to their battered budget, but most of City Hall's biggest honchos should be relieved that the "crash tax" is headed for an early demise.

That's because 14 of the 22 highest-ranking city officials - including the police and fire chiefs - don't live in the city and would have been susceptible to the fee program, according to a search of public records. Under the proposed ordinance, out-of-towners who cause auto wrecks in the city requiring fire department response would have been charged hundreds of dollars.

But the "crash tax" now appears headed for a reversal after a City Council vote on Tuesday.

There's more. The money generated by the fee would have gone to the fire department.

But Fire Chief Ray Jones lives in Roseville. And his two deputy chiefs don't live in the city either, according to a review of public records conducted by my colleague, Phillip Reese.

Reese also found that at least three of Jones' five assistant chiefs and 11 of his 12 battalion chiefs live outside the city.

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About City Beat

Ryan Lillis has covered the city of Sacramento, its 108 neighborhoods and its politicians since 2008. Prior to that, he covered crime at The Bee. A native of upstate New York, Lillis has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact reporter Ryan Lillis at rlillis@sacbee.com

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