Minn. council delays talk about 'crash tax'

Under the proposed plan, the South Metro Fire Department would charge nonresidents $577 for a serious crash


The St. Paul Pioneer Press

SOUTH St. PAUL, Minn. — South St. Paul officials this week tabled an initial reading of an ordinance that would set a fee when the city's fire department responds to serious crashes.

The South St. Paul City Council "was not ready for it quite yet" and held it for further discussion at an upcoming work-study session, city administrator Stephen King said.

Under the proposed plan, the South Metro Fire Department would charge nonresidents $577 for a serious crash. The proposal also allows the department, which provides service to West St. Paul, to charge for water rescues, chemical spills and pipeline breaks — no matter where the person involved lives.

The South St. Paul City Council had several concerns with the plan, including "how you're going to charge nonresidents," King said.

Auto insurance carriers usually pay the fees, South Metro Fire Chief John Ehret has said. Those without coverage would be billed.

Copyright 2011 St. Paul Pioneer Press
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