Contact Us
Make My Homepage

Emergency Services Tax? NJ Sen. Tony Bucco Acts To Limit Fees [AUDIO/POLL]


As Townsquare Media News has been reporting for the past week, 26 states currently allow “user fees” for public safety and New Jersey is one of them.

Stacy Proebstle, Townsquare Media

The ranking Republican on the State Senate Budget Committee says, in a direct response to our series he’s readying a bill to, at the very least, limit the authority of municipalities to impose fees for emergency services.

“Residents already pay fees for emergency services, they’re called property taxes,” says State Senator Tony Bucco. “If the highest property taxes in America aren’t enough to support basic public safety and emergency services, then there is something severely wrong with our spending priorities as a state.”

Bucco is working with legislative staff to study the laws of other states and propose a statute limiting the amounts that could be charged and/or under what circumstances. He hopes to submit a proposal to the Senate at its next full meeting. Bucco says, “What we’re trying to do is cap the fees or eliminate the fees altogether.”

“It adds insult to injury to ask someone whose house caught fire or who was the victim of a crime to cough up more money in addition to the taxes they pay,” insists Bucco continued. “Charging people for a basic service in their hour of need is just more proof that the size and cost of government have gotten out of control.”

Atlantic City, Bloomfield and Passiac have already passed ordinances creating “emergency response fees,” and several other Jersey towns are thinking about doing the same thing.

“These are services that are paid through property taxes or sales taxes and municipalities shouldn’t go looking elsewhere to fund essential services that government delivers” says Michael Barry, spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute. “There are some insurers that will pay these fees and there are some that will not. The existence of these types of taxes can place upward pressure on insurance rates in the long run.”

“Local officials, first and foremost, have an obligation if not a moral responsibility to provide public quality of life services. And they’re looking at ways they can do that, and at the same time be sensitive to property taxes,” explains New Jersey State League of Municipalities executive director Bill Dressel explains, “Local officials are trying make sure that in these dire economic times that the residents are not going to be over-taxed for these services.”

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Best of NJ101.5

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for New Jersey Insiders quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive New Jersey Insiders contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.