After a California car accident, new laws put in place by many California cities allow the cities to bill the insurance company, or at fault driver, for the police and firefighting services that their car accident in California has necessitated.
These laws, which are designed to increase revenue for cities that are struggling financially, face a challenge from insurance companies who say that it will cause insurance premiums to go up. The other argument is that tax dollars already pay for California firefighters and police officers. However, Costa Mesa Fire Battalion Chief Bill Kershaw says that the local taxpayers should not have to pay for emergency responses to accidents that they did not cause, so it would be more appropriate to bill ther responsible parties.
Some cities, countering the taxation argument, only apply these California car crash taxes to nonresidents. This, critics argue, could hurt tourism in California.
Tony Strickland, a California State Senator from Moorpark, is trying to outlaw the California auto crash taxes, by proposing measure SB 49, which will be heard by the legislature in February. His argument is that Californians are hurting enough from the economy, and simply cannot afford this extra charge when they are in a car accident.
Strickland is backed by the insurance lobby, which has given him over $200,000 in political contributions over the last four years.