Precinct 333

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

User Fees For Emergency Services?

Should out-of-towners be charged for rescue services if they are in an automobile accident?

Winter Park could be the first city in the state to charge for pulling injured motorists from their wrecked cars, according to a Local 6 News report.

Local 6 News reported that if a driver involved in the crash isn't a city resident, crashing in the city could cost even more.

Winter Park firefighters respond to hundreds of crashes every year and the money from the proposed service fees could provide money without raising taxes.

Fees could range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars for extensive crashes involving cutting people out of their cars, according to a report.

While the idea of charging non-residents a user fee is attractive, I have some concerns. Has the idea truly been thought through? And what’s the next step? A user fee to investigate crimes against non-residents? I can hear it now – “I see here that you are from Miami. If you want us to take a report and look for the guy who shot you, that will be $5000. If we catch the guy and prosecute him, that will be another $5000. You can’t expect the taxpayers of our community to pick up the tab.”

Thoughts and reactions?


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