Really, is there any justification left to start charging the "crash tax" on out-of-towners starting Friday?
A slim majority on the Sacramento City Council voted last month to begin charging nonresident motorists for the cost of fire department response. They have consistently defended their decision by saying that the city had to come up with cash and had few options left.
But Wednesday, the city's Fire Department announced that it will receive a $5.6 million federal grant -- enough to hire 27 firefighters and restore two fire companies that had been browned out (taken out of service on a rotating basis). The cash infusion will improve response times throughout the city.
It should also cause council members to rethink the need for the "crash tax" since it would only raise $300,000 to $500,000 a year -- and that estimate may be a stretch. It certainly won't offset the damage the new fee has already done to Sacramento's reputation and its relations with its neighbors, and will continue to do if the fee stays in place.
The Bee's editorial board has consistently opposed the "crash tax" as an ill-advised way to boost the city's budget.