Nonresidents could face fee in West Allis car crashes

Dec. 12, 2012

West Allis - Starting in January, just in time for winter traffic mishaps, West Allis will institute a $250 crash billing fee affecting drivers of vehicles registered outside of West Allis.

The fee will be charged only if the West Allis Fire Department has to render any service, said City Administrator Paul Ziehler. If the Fire Department just responds but doesn't need to do anything, there will be no fee.

Alderman Michael May, who co-sponsored the proposal, said the idea "is to take the cost off property taxpayers and put it onto the users of the service."

The fee is estimated to bring in $25,000 annually.

While some other communities place the fee on drivers regardless of whether they are residents, May and co-sponsor Alderwoman Rosalie Reinke recommended charging only nonresidents.

Insurance companies would pay the fee, Ziehler said. If the nonresident isn't at fault, the insurance company will collect the fee along with any damages from the insurance company of the driver who is at fault.

"We aren't getting into determining who's at fault," Ziehler said.

West Allis also has an ambulance fee that will remain separate from the crash billing fee, he added.

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