New motorist accident fee moves closer to approval 

The Fire Department wants to charge a fee if it has to respond to a motor vehicle accident and clean up, such as remove debris or fuel, as The Examiner first reported.

The Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee voted in support of the fee Thursday. It was sent to the full board with a recommendation for its approval.

Supervisor Sean Elsbernd voted in support once he made sure only the person who caused the accident would be socked by the fee.

“I don’t want to see somebody who got hit, their car gets totaled, have to pay this fee,” Elsbernd said.

The Fire Department proposed the fee as part of its proposed budget for the fiscal year, which begins July 1, as part of Mayor Gavin Newsom’s proposed $6.5 billion city and county budget. The fee is allowed under state law.

The department responds to more than 4,000 accidents annually.

The fee is expected to generate $626,000 in revenue during the upcoming fiscal year.

Depending on the extent of the accident cleanup, the fee could be $249, $498, or a greater fee if cleanup lasts for more than an hour.

The motorist’s insurance company would be billed the fee.

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