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It came in the mail less than a month after Darline Fairchild watched her family's home go up in flames -- a bill for the nearly $28,000 it cost the fire department to extinguish the blaze.
"I felt my body turn cold and I just broke out into a sweat," Fairchild told ABCNews.com. "It was awful. I said, 'It's got to be a mistake.'"
But it wasn't a mistake. The Fairchilds, of New Castle, Ind., were just one of a growing number of fire and accident victims across the country who are being billed for fire department services once funded solely through taxpayer money.
Already banned in several states, the practice of charging to respond to house fires and car accidents -- dubbed a "crash tax" or an "accident tax" -- has horrified victims and earned the ire of insurance lobbyists who say their member companies are being targeted to make up for budget shortfalls.
"Part of the sales tactic when municipalities consider this is, 'Hey, don't worry, it's going to go to insurance,'" Jon Zarich, director of government affairs for the Insurance Institute of Indiana, told ABCNews.com. "But it's the homeowner that's responsible once coverage runs out."
Originally posted by thebulldog
reply to post by ladyinwaiting
this is sick. Only humans could come up with something at useless as money and only we could become so obsessed with imaginary devices to the point where things like this would happen. The fire department needs to be paid and I understand that but a $28000 bill after their house has been destroyed does not help them. Perhaps its time communities start investing on local militia community police and fire services and screw the moneygrubbers once and for all.