Cities, states, and municipalities have a huge budget problem. That problem is caused by too much spending. The sensible thing to do would be to reduce expenditures. Instead Cities Turn to Fees to Fill Budget Gaps. After her sport utility vehicle sideswiped a van in early February, Shirley Kimel was amazed at how quickly a handful of police officers and firefighters in Winter Haven, Fla., showed up. But a real shock came a week later, when a letter arrived from the city billing her $316 for the cost of responding to the accident. âI remember thinking, âWhat the heck is this?â â says Ms. Kimel, 67, an office manager at a furniture store. âI always thought this sort of thing was covered by my taxes.â It used to be. But last July, Winter Haven became one of a few dozen cities in the country to start charging âaccident response fees.â The idea is to shift the expense of tending to and cleaning up crashes directly to at-fault drivers. Either they, or their insurers, are expected to pay. With the economy flailing and budgets strained, state and local governments are being creative about ways to raise money. And the go-to idea is to invent a fee â or simply raise one. Ohioâs governor has proposed a budget with more than 150 new or increased fees, including a fivefold increase in the cost to renew a livestock license, as well as larger sums to register a car, order a birth certificate or dump trash in a landfill. Other fees take aim at landlords, cigarette sellers and hospitals, to name a few. Wisconsinâs governor, James E. Doyle, has proposed a charge on slaughterhouses that would be levied on the basis of each animal slaughtered. Washingtonâs mayor, Adrian M. Fenty, has proposed a âstreetlight user feeâ of $4.25 a month, to be added to electric bills, that would cover the cost of operating and maintaining the cityâs streetlights. New York City recently expanded its anti-idling law to include anyone parked near a school who leaves the engine running for more than a minute. Doing that will cost you $100. http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2009/04/nationwide-tax-revolt-is-coming.html ROFL ! LOL ! I would buy a flight ticket and leave this country !