INDIANAPOLIS (April 2, 2009) – The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) issued the following statement in response to the Arkansas Legislature’s passage this week of HB 1895, legislation to Prohibit the Imposition of an Accident Response Service Fee. The comments may be attributed to Liz Reynolds, NAMIC’s Southeast state affairs manager.
“Arkansas lawmakers are to be commended for ensuring Arkansas citizens are not subject to double taxation for core government services. This legislation would bar municipalities from imposing accident response fees for services performed by local law enforcement agencies – services already covered through local taxes.
“NAMIC has been actively working to prohibit such practices since issuing a 2006 report detailing the alarming trend of double taxation by counties, cities, and towns that implement such fees. Since then, even more municipalities have jumped on the bandwagon – especially since government budgets are strapped for cash.
“However, with Governor Mike Beebe’s signature, Arkansas will join five other states – Tennessee, Missouri, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Indiana – that have banned the practice. . Legislation to prohibit the fees is pending in Florida and Alabama.
“We especially applaud the Arkansas Legislature for proactively addressing this issue, as no municipalities in the state have as yet instituted the accident response fees. At a time when consumers are being hit hard by the economic crisis, it’s unconscionable to ask them to pay for services they’re already funding."
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