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'Crash tax' passed in Sacramento would affect visitors

Posted On Tue, February 1, 2011

Last week, Sacramento officials passed an ordinance that may have tourists reconsidering whether or not they want to visit the state's capital.

Described as the "crash tax," the new law would bill out-of-towners involved in an accident within the city limits the cost of rescue crews responding to the scene. The bill could be as little as $435 or as much as $2,275, according to city data.

Sacramento is facing a budget shortfall in the millions of dollars and joins a host of other cities that charge drivers fees in the event of an accident, including Dallas, Quincy, Massachusetts and Toledo, Ohio, according to a Ohio-based Mutual Insurance group speaking to Bloomberg. According to the group, fees like these have been banned in 10 states, including Alabama, Florida and Georgia.

The Association of California Insurance Companies opposes the measure and testified before the Sacramento City Council prior to it being passed. Among other things representatives from the ACIC said the measure was misleading, shortsighted and unfair.

Since 2004, California has been among the most expensive states for auto insurance rates, according to the Insurance Information Institute. 

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