Last year New York Mayor Michale Bloomberg attempted to get the city council to pass a proposed ‘crash tax’ which would have fined anyone involved in a crash up to $495 to cover the cost of emergency response teams. This did not go over well and the measure was defeated.

This is a common practice in many states and municipalities and it became more common following the start of the 2008 recession. These communities were looking for ways to replace declining state tax revenue and recoup losses from increasing operational costs.

The idea of a ‘crash tax’ is repugnant to many drivers who feel that they should not be held responsible for the cost of a fire truck arriving on scene, let’s say. These ‘crash taxes’ are imposed on anyone who was involved in the crash regardless of who might have been at fault. They also do not take into account whether or not the fire truck which arrived on scene was even involved or needed at the scene of the crash.

This rubs people the wrong way and for good reason. Paying for a service you use is one thing, but being forced to pay for something that you don’t need, or being held responsible for something which was not fault, is not the way we are used to living our lives in America.

As communities continue to look for ways to increase revenue it seems likely these types of ‘crash taxes’ will become even more common. The debate about their fairness will likely continue to rage while everyone searches for a way to recoup costs and protect the rights of everyone from unfair fees. Until the economy resolves itself, however, the new ‘crash tax’ fees will likely continue to pop-up every where and any where politicians can conceive of a way to make them happen.