Friday, December 31, 2010

Califoreclosenation: "Daddy's gonna pay for your crashed car"* -- twice

California is often described as a trend-setter for the nation.  But in one area it's following New York City's lead (as first noted here three weeks ago): "crash taxes."

The LA Times has a big piece on the exploding popularity among California cities of this additional theft-by-government for what is ostensibly a "public good" already funded by taxpayers.
"To me, it's an outrage. We're already paying these people — the police department, the fire department, the emergency vehicle drivers — handsome salaries and benefits," said Lew Uhler, president of the National Tax Limitation Committee. "Either we stop this kind of nonsense or we should quit paying taxes for these kind of services."

Some lawmakers and insurers are hoping to ban municipal crash taxes.  But given the catastrophic state of public finances in the Golden State and political strength of local governments and their unions in Sacramento, it would appear to be a quixotic effort.

UPDATE:  Robert Wenzel's take:
The emergency response sector seems to be another sector that should be left to the private sector seeing as individuals are paying for the responses anyway.
[* U2, Zooropa (1993)]

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