Lawmaker takes action against crash tax - WNEM TV 5

Lawmaker takes action against crash tax

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A lawmaker takes action against the so-called crash tax.

The bill would ban what some say is double taxation, getting billed for rescue services after a car crash.

Frank Newsome was in a  car accident last January after he hit a snowdrift. A few weeks later, he opened his mailbox and saw a bill for his rescue.

"For firefighters, the vehicle, the supervisor, two pumpers, two fire trucks," Newsome said.

The bill from the fire and police departments totaled more than $2,000.

"I was very upset," Newsome said.

The departments can legally bill at-fault drivers for services, but not every department in Michigan does that. 

When Newsome called his insurance they said they weren't paying. 

"It's the fact it is a lot of money, but it could ruin my credit. And my ability to buy a new car, house, anything," he said.

Newsome said he understands the department funding problem. 

Where the accident happened in Clayton Township, the fire and police departments are small and may not have a lot of money.

"It's not taking away how vital police and fire are, and everybody is certainly willing to pay their fair share of taxes to cover those, but he was of the belief that was what his taxes went to," said Ben Glardon, 85th district state representative.

Newsome called his state representative. Ben Glardon wanted to take action. 

He drafted a bill that would eliminate the extra crash tax on accident victims.

"I don't know frankly where this bill will go or if it will see the light of day, but it's something that merits a discussion," Glardon said.

Newsome certainly hopes the bill takes off, so no one else would have to be put in his situation.

"This is unfair, wrong, you guys pay taxes, it should be covered. It's something that needs to be addressed. You don't know which county you will have an accident in," Newsome said.

Newsome said he would like to see all counties using taxpayer money to fund crashes that happen in their own county.

The bill will likely not see action until the fall.

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