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Senate Bill 49, authored by Senator Strickland died in the Senate Public Safety Committee.
SB 49 would have banned local governments from charging a fee or tax for the cost related to dispatching an emergency responder. As a result of declining revenues, cities across the state have implemented crash taxes and fees on those non-residents who get into accidents within their city limits. This law would have prevented local governments from charging out of town drivers visiting on vacation or simply driving to work from being charged for emergency response services. Public safety is a basic function of government and is already covered when a citizen pays taxes.
Senator Strickland argued that Californians visit other cities in the State they are already paying sales tax on souvenirs for their kids, food at restaurants, and on gas when they fill up at the pump and hotel taxes if they choose to stay overnight. It is unconscionable to make people pay twice for public services that should be provided for out of the taxes they already pay.
Despite Strickland’s arguments, SB 49 died with a vote of 1-5.