The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

August 17, 2010
Sacramento 'crash tax' debate is delayed

Sacramento's "crash tax" is back in the shop.

The City Council was supposed to vote tonight on whether to join a growing number of California cities and start billing out-of-town motorists who have wrecks.

But the city just announced that the debate has been put off -- tentatively until Sept. 14 -- at the request of interim City Manager Gus Vina, who wants more information on what other cities are doing.

The current proposal had already been revised to make clear that only at-fault drivers would be filled for the costs of the fire department responding to crashes, and to include a dispute resolution mechanism.

The Bee's editorial board, however, is still against the plan, which would make California's capital city a bad host and likely cost it more money in lost tourism revenue.

The state insurance association and small business advocacy group also oppose the "crash tax."

The fire department, which is strapped for cash like the rest of City Hall, wants to recover its costs on a sliding scale that starts at $435 any time it responds and goes to $2,275 if a helicopter is used to take the injured to the emergency room.

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About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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