Teflon John Hickenlooper Backs “Crash Tax” for Non-Resident Denver Wrecks

7News reporter Russell Haythorn has a great story today about a Denver proposal backed by Mayor John Hickenlooper to institute a “crash tax” on non-residents who cause traffic accidents on highways inside city limits:

Some say it would raise revenue, others say it’s a double-tax that would scare visitors away.

“It would seem to me to be a little bit stupid,” said Dan Trippie who was visiting from New York and rented a car to get around.

“I think that’s outrageous since I already pay taxes to work in Denver,” said Ellen Warp, who lives in Wheat Ridge and works in downtown Denver.

Go here to watch the video of the report.

Kudos to my Independence Institute colleague Todd Shepherd for cracking the lid on this story. One of his reports, which appeared recently in the Denver Daily News, provided some context to the Hickenlooper-backed Denver proposal:

Accident response fees, sometimes called “crash taxes,” have cropped up in recent years as municipalities all across the country have struggled with declining revenues, particularly sales-tax revenues. Also, almost as quickly as those fees have sprung up, several states have moved to ban sub-governments from charging them. In 2008, five states banned accident response fees, and in 2009, three more states followed suit. Just weeks ago, Alabama passed a law prohibiting accident response fees.

At the time, a few weeks ago, Shepherd reported that it was “unknown” whether Hick “directly supported” the “crash tax” proposal. Now we’ve seen him on camera supporting the measure.

Okay, as a believer in reciprocity and fair play, here’s my question. Say Hickenlooper comes into Arvada where I live and rear-ends another vehicle on Wadsworth Boulevard. Can I ask our City Council to send a bill to the mayor, or maybe to his campaign?

If this story got your attention, just maybe you ought to “Like” the Mayor Teflon John Hickenlooper’s Political Glass Jaw page on Facebook. All the cool kids are doing it.

Ben DeGrow is a Contributing Author at People’s Press Collective, Your Source for Colorado Politics.

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