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Originally published December 16 2010

NYC to start billing residents when ambulances show up to treat your injuries

by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer

(NaturalNews) The City of New York is considering a new proposal that would directly charge its residents for using emergency services like ambulances and fire trucks that respond to vehicle accidents. New Yorkers already pay for these services with their taxes, of course, but the city wants to implement the new "crash tax" anyway in order to garner some extra cash.

According to a recent CBS New York report, the new system would charge residents $490 to receive emergency services for a car fire or accident that involves an injury. Without an injury, the cost would be $415. For any other type of vehicle accident without injury, the city would charge $365. And the worst part of all is that it makes no difference whether or not the person is at fault: he or she would still be obligated to pay the fee.

The Fire Department of New York (FDNY) claims that the fees will "relieve pressure on the taxpayer and place it on those at fault and their insurance," but the proposal clearly states that everyone will be required to pay, even if they are not at fault. And New Yorkers will still have to pay the local taxes that already fund such services, which in essence subjects them to double taxation.

The FDNY plans to hold public hearings in January, but the proposal is expected to pass regardless of public opposition because the City Council does not have to approve it for it to pass, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg has already expressed support for it. The implementation date is July 1, 2011.

According to 2007 data from the Insurance Information Institute (III), the crash rate in New York City is actually more than 30 percent less than the national average. Yet New Yorkers pay the fourth highest insurance premium rates in the nation. So if city taxes are somehow not enough to cover the costs of emergency services, it would make more sense that insurance companies food the bill rather than the individuals who are already paying for such services with their tax dollars.

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