THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA: Local ‘Crash Taxes’ Crash

May 1, 2009

Local governments would no longer be allowed to charge motorists for crashes under a bill that passed the House Friday and now on its way to the governor.

The bill, SB 2282, would prevent cities and counties from imposing fees for law enforcement or fire-rescue services. The bill still allows ambulance and life flight fees to be imposed.

The measure passed over the objection of some rural lawmakers who said such crashes are often caused by out-of-towners who don’t pay local taxes.

Rep. Nick Thompson, R-Fort Myers, said the use of the fees is arbitrary that many times ends up charging the motorists fees for services they already pay for through their taxes. “It’s a hidden tax that is passed,” Thompson said.

The bill outlawing the fees passed 102-15.