Mayor Drops Crash Tax After Criticism

April 7, 2011  |  

(Wall Street Journal) — Mayor Michael Bloomberg has decided to drop his administration’s controversial plan to charge motorists involved in accidents for emergency-response services, a coup for City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.  A Bloomberg administration official confirmed Wednesday afternoon that the mayor withdrew the proposal in the wake of opposition from Ms. Quinn. “The speaker made a strong case against it,” the official said.  The mayor had the power to impose the fee on motorists without seeking council permission. But Peter Vallone Jr., a member of the council, was preparing legislation to block the administration from moving forward.  Ms. Quinn, a Manhattan Democrat who is a potential 2013 mayoral candidate, said she understands the city faces difficult financial problems and needs to generate more revenue. But she said emergency response is a “basic government function.”  “The Fire Department doesn’t charge for its response to structural fires, and the Police Department doesn’t charge for patrolling a block,” Ms. Quinn said. “Charging for responding to the scene of an accident is a slippery slope, and I don’t want to see us begin to go down that road out of a desperate desire to find sources of revenue.”

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