New fees for rural SLO County residents

August 13, 2012

Later this week, thousands of San Luis Obispo County rural residents will begin receiving bills for a new annual “fire prevention fee” levied by the state of California and criticized by opponents as unnecessary and illegal.

Gov. Jerry Brown proposed the fee last year and lawmakers approved it in order to generate an estimated $84 million for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The annual charge can run as high as $150 for each single occupied dwelling in rural areas. Most property owners will receive a $35 discount for living in a fire district; an estimated 90 percent of structures qualify for that savings.

Cal Fire officials estimate 800,000 such structures exist on land where it provides fire service.

The annual fee is slated to pay for fire-prevention efforts such as thinning brush and trees from around structures and not for fire suppression.

Officials from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association said they plan to file a lawsuit to have the fee declared unconstitutional because it is actually a tax, which requires a two-thirds vote in the Legislature to enact.


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isoslo

This is the tip of the iceberg. Our government employees will do anything to get more money. Fees is the new way to tax us without our representatives voting on it. Anyone who owns a business in SLO recently paid their greatly increased city business tax. I moved my business and was hit with a relocation fee on top of it. Anybody who owns a business would be wise to stay out of SLO city.


slojustice

This fee is a joke. What, are they now going to come out to my house and clear the brush that I already clear on my own. I should charge cal fire and the pcf’s a fee to watch my house burn to the ground. And hijinks, because I live rural I am a freeloader? You need to go back to your high density utopia and finish your coolaid. I pay my taxes and I receive below standard fire protection I maintain my own brush clearance and when someone gets hurt or needs medical attention most of the time I transport our selves because I don’t want to wait 45 minutes for cal fire to arrive with two people on an engine. I chose to live where I live and I get offended when bureaucrats sit around and dream up schemes to raise some revenue. I think I am going to see what they do when I decide not to pay this fee.


isoslo

Just another excuse for the government to collect more money for themselves. Call it whatever you want. They are already sitting in a lavish villa in a seaside resort somewhere dreaming up the next fee, I mean tax, I mean assessment…


slojo

I’m irritated that I will have to pay a “fee” or a “tax” whatever you want to call it for a fire departmetn (Cal Fire) that doesn’t provide paramedics. That is the least they could do is better their service if they are going to start charging people.


Also, does anyone is SLO city know about the new “auto-aid” agreement between SLO City Fire and Cal Fire? Your SLO City Firefighters now have to automatically respond to calls out in the county because Cal Fire needs help. So SLO City citizens, when you call 911 your firefighter/paramedcis may be responding from out in the county as opposed to from somewhere in the city. Your taxes that pay for the highly trained, professional fire medics are now going to be used by county residents who do not pay for those city firefighters.


Ted Slanders

All SLO County rural citizens, get a hold of your Republican representatives post haste!!!


This is because the Republicans know how to spin doctor a “fee” into a “tax term”, remember? In Romney’s healthcare act in Massachusetts, the individuals that didn’t pay for healthcare, it was considered a “fee”, as even admitted by Republican Mitt Romney. Damn, this only muddies the waters though. :(


Alas! The Republicans grew wiser with time, where now in the Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Act, that is exactly the same as Romneys, the Republicans now call the entity where everyone has to pay, a “TAX”, instead of a fee! See how easy and convenient the Republicans can be in this instance to support their concept?


Email, write, or call your Republican representatives to do the same thing as they did with the Affordable Healthcare Act. Then if they get it through, this will force a 2/3 vote in the California Legislature.


Tomatos, tomatoes, potato and I like potahto, well, you get the drift.


easymoney

Excuse mel, but the bill was proposed and brought to the floor by governor moonbeam a democrat.

Please get your facts straight before dissing a certain political group…


Ted Slanders

easymoney,


That is irrelative to my point! Do the simple math! Duh.


It was brought forth as a “fee”. It needs to be a “tax”, therefore it can be voted upon. Once again, the Republicans are great spin doctors when then have too, so let them spin the “fee” into a “tax”. Get it? :(


WiseGuy

Get over the “moonbeam’ propaganda/slander. Brown is one of the most capable and down to earth governors in the United States


The “moonbeam” tag was pure propaganda concocted by extremist right wing operatives who wanted to derail Brown’s chances for U.S. President. If Brown had made it to president, it’s safe to say our nation would be far better off today.


. If Brown supports this measure, then it would be because he wants the people who get extra government service to pay for that extra service. Isn’t that a very “conservative” attitude?


danika

Brown supports this measure because he wants more money from you to use wherever he wants. If you don’t believe the State takes your money for a specific intent and then redirects it, look to the “green sticker” funds.


kettle

The same website over and over and over. Enough already.


Also 1962? way out of date.


photocal

Maybe it’s time to take a hard look at Cal fires books. Like the cost and expense of convict labor, contracted work costs and employee overtime costs. What will be the cost to collect the new fire fee’s. The real CalFire is burning up tax dollars. Its known that overtime pay is running wild, and We’re going to need a new fee (TAX ?) to cover it.


hijinks

Actually, if the story were more complete, we’d understand there are two separate arguments about applicability and fairness of this fee.


The fee’s to support CalFire, the state fire department, which provides fire service to some, but not all, rural areas. Providing this service to scattered residences in high fire areas is costly — much more costly than providing urban fire services.


In SLO county, CalFire actually does provide fire service to rural areas. Given the disproportionate cost of providing such service, compared to urban service, some sort of fee that applies to those who benefit from this service is only fair. So, in SLO county, the rural freeloaders can complain all they want, but the new fee is fair. If the rural folk don’t pay their fair share, the urban people will have to pick it up for them, and that’s not fair.


The problem comes from application of the fee indiscriminately to all rural residents of the state (i.e., out of SLO county), even to those in areas that are served by local fire departments and not by Cal Fire. These people have a legitimate gripe since the fee goes to Cal Fire which doesn’t serve them, and that unfairness needs to be resolved.


hijinks

CalFire and the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection are one and the same.


BeenThereDoneThat

Pismo it doesn’t matter if you agree with him or not on the other parts. He is right about CalFire. It was called CDF till recent years. The station in Paso on Ramada drive said CDF for years then changed to CalFire. If you read the link below it states that all CDF changed to CalFire in 2007. Same agency same everything just new name.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Department_of_Forestry_and_Fire_Protection


BeenThereDoneThat

Of course they call it a fee. That way you don’t have to go through the unplesentries of having it be given a real look like a tax and the BEST benifit is that by calling a fee the taxpayer can’t write it off their taxes!!


Let’s take a listen to the Beatles again………….


Let me tell you how it will be

There’s one for you, nineteen for me

‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman


Should five per cent appear too small

Be thankful I don’t take it all

‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah I’m the taxman


If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street,

If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat.

If you get too cold I’ll tax the heat,

If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.


Don’t ask me what I want it for

If you don’t want to pay some more

‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman


Jorge Estrada

Yes and they might as well tax all who live in big cities for road-rage mitigation. Next they can tax everyone for outrage mitigation and lower government retirement age to 40 so they run for the boarder while they still can run.


hijinks

If they’d lower the retirement age to 40, there’d be plenty of jobs for young people. It’s really stupid to keep raising the retirement age — just keeps people working too long, and keeps down the number of jobs for the young.


BeenThereDoneThat

Yea and puts an even BIGGER tax burdon on the rest of us for their pensions as they live out an average 37 more years of life expectancy. Yea wonderfull idea.