New Mexico Mayor’s Plan Would Bill Drivers for Emergency Costs

May 21, 2019

A New Mexico mayor has proposed billing drivers involved in car accidents resulting in hazardous material cleanup or victim extractions.

The Albuquerque Journal reported that Mayor Tim Keller’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2020 includes a new “cost recovery” channel for Albuquerque Fire Rescue.

The proposed update of the city’s fire code ordinance says fees would range from $400 for hazard mitigation and cleanup to $1,305 for use of “heavy rescue tools and other equipment” to remove victims from vehicles.

Officials say the department could also bill $400 per hour for additional time at accident scenes.

Officials say the proposal passes the cost of more complicated accident situations directly to those who require them.

Critics say the proposal charges more for municipal services already funded by taxes.

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