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What goes “bang” then “cha-ching”? It’s your ordinary auto accident, except with a new twist. Depending on the area, if you are an out of town or out of county resident, or if you are at fault, you may be charged a crash tax for the services of any police, paramedics, or firemen that may show up to provide assistance or treatment. Many municipalities have started charging for these services in an attempt to work around budget and tax cuts.

But isn’t that what taxes are for? To ensure that the roads are intact, the firemen show up, and the use of the occasional helicopter for extraordinary situations. It’s one thing for a county to charge for damage to a phone pole that an insured ran into, but another to charge for providing basic humanitarian services. Some areas are charging as much as $1,000-2,000 for providing medics, firemen, and ambulance services.

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