If there were any doubt, California's insurance industry made absolutely clear today how much it abhors a proposed "crash tax" in Sacramento.
Sam Sorich, president of the Association of California Insurance Companies, plans to testify Tuesday before the City Council against the proposed ordinance.
Under the plan, out-of-town drivers who are at fault for wrecks would be billed fees that would range from a minimum of $435 every time the Fire Department shows up at an accident scene to $2,275 if a helicopter is called in to transport an injured motorist.
Sorich says that if the fees are imposed, Sacramento would operate like a small-town speed trap and gouge unwary drivers.
"Sacramento is rightly proud to be the capital of America's largest state. It should be welcoming with open arms those from outside Sacramento who work in the city and visitors from around the world," he said in a press release. "Instead, the city plans to literally add insult to injury."
The insurers group also warns that if the fees are collected, rates could rise for all drivers in the Sacramento region.
The state's largest advocacy group for small businesses also opposes the "crash tax," saying that florists, pizza parlors and others that operate fleets of vehicles cannot afford any more bills.
"The local police and fire departments are there to serve and protect, not serve and collect," John Kabateck, executive director of the National Federation of Independent Business, wrote in today's Bee.