Proposed N.J. legislation would ban new local fees for a 911 call

This month, Passaic, N.J., became the latest town to propose a measure to recoup costs of fire response from fees to insurance companies.

State Sen. Anthony R. Bucco, R-Morris, is preparing to introduce legislation that would ban municipalities from charging for a response to 911 calls.

Bucco says residents already pay for police and fire services with their property taxes. Local governments may be looking for extra revenue now that there’s a limit on property tax increases, he said.

“This just seems like an extra charge that’s going on,” he said. “And perhaps even towns trying to get around their 2-percent cap which the Legislature and the governor signed into law last year with bipartisan support.”

Passaic Mayor Alex Blanco told a New Jersey radio station that the fees already are included in insurance coverage and that rate hikes “would be unethical.”

Atlantic City put fees in place last year.

Many states, including Pennsylvania, ban charging for local emergency response.

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