A new "crash-tax" proposed by officials from the St. Andrews Public Service District is raising concern throughout South Carolina. According to the proposed tax, drivers who are not residents of the district may be subject to additional fees for car crashes that require emergency response from its fire department . These fees could cost a non-resident motorist up to $1,000 per incident and may also apply to crashes in neighboring areas served by St. Andrews Public Service District and its fire department. Suggested fees under the crash-tax are as follows:
- $300 for response by fire engine and crew
- $350 for a rescue crew
- $350 for a ladder crew
Officials from St. Andrews have stated that the tax was proposed as a direct effort to increase revenue, particularly because costs for emergency services depend solely on tax-payers' money and because response calls to emergencies from neighboring municipalities have increased. Service to neighboring areas comes as part of an automatic mutual aid agreement in which local jurisdictions provide emergency services for one another in order to shorten response times. Commissioners from the public service district are currently deciding on whether to approve the crash-tax.
Since the crash-tax was proposed, there has been split support. Some local fire departments and many residents oppose the tax, while others believe that St. Andrews could use the revenue. For many local residents and our legal team at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, the move simply doesn't seem fair – especially when it mandates additional fees from South Carolina residents who already pay their fair share of taxes.
The mutual aid agreement is an excellent idea, and one that ensures better response times for victims injured in auto collisions. Funding this program by double-taxing motorists, however, is a questionable approach to increasing revenue.
While we await the district's decision on approving the proposed crash-tax, our South Carolina car accident lawyers will continue to fight on behalf of victims injured through no fault of their own. To learn more about your rights after a traffic collision, the personal injury claim process, and how our firm may be of assistance, call 888-612-7001 for a FREE consultation, or visit our Columbia office at 1440 Broad River Road.