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City Council Questions FDNY Crash Tax

Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano was in the hot seat yesterday as City Council members fumed over his proposal to charge New Yorkers a car-accident response fee.

Council members on the Fire and Criminal Justice Services Committee grilled Cassano over the city's proposal to charge drivers $365 to $490 when the FDNY responds to a crash.

"I just can't believe that in a $64 billion budget, here we are talking about payment for an accident tax," Councilman Vincent Ignizio (R-SI) said, "that you had the misfortune to get into an accident and now we have firemen coming out . . . and willing to swipe [your credit card] to make sure. 'Before we go to the hospital, let's make sure your card goes through and make sure you're all paid up.' "

Cassano pointed out that Buffalo, Dallas and San Francisco employ a similar type of billing.

The proposal, which the FDNY estimates would generate $1 million annually, would start charging drivers July 1 to help close a budget deficit.

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