New Mexico mayor’s plan would charge for emergency costs

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (AP) — A New Mexico mayor has proposed billing some drivers who are involved in car accidents resulting in hazardous material cleanup or victim extractions.

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

The proposed update of the fire code ordinance would allow the city to bill the responsible party’s insurance company. Those without insurance could be billed directly.

Fees would range from $400 for hazard mitigation and cleanup to $1,305 for the use of special tools and equipment to remove victims from vehicles.

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

Critics say the proposal amounts to a charge for municipal services already funded by taxes.

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Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com

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