Rural fire fee facing court test

October 5, 2012

A lawsuit has been filed in Sacramento challenging a $150 “fire prevention” fee now assessed on 825,000 rural properties in California. (San Jose Mercury News)

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association seeks declaration regarding the fee’s validity, and seeks refunds for those who have, or will, pay the fee. The group asserts the assessment is actually a tax, and was passed without the obligatory approval of voters. Taxpayers began to get bills from the state in August.

Joining the lawsuit were 11 plaintiffs from nine counties. It names as defendants the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the state Board of Equalization.

More than 300,000 bill have been sent, and 12,674 appeals received. The fee is expected to raise $84.4 million for the state firefighting agency.

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Well this and the bag ban remind me of one in the same. We all know which party persuasion supports and which doesn’t. If you don’t like then vote accordingly coming elections. If you like then go with the status quo California has had for thirty plus years, that is sending us right over the edge. Yea I know people will hit that red button because they don’t want to hear the truth.

I have no dog in this hunt but I sympathize with those that do. 13 years ago I did own a house outside city limits that would have been affected by this “Prevention” fee/tax. I wanted to look at the actual legislation and find out where the collected “fees” go. Here is the link to the State Board of Equalization. Pay attention to section 4214 – the Expenditure of Fees section. After the SBof E gets its cut, most of the fees go toward “educational” promotions and of course “grants” and some conservation corps for planting trees. The rest (including “grants” goes into an undefined black hole. This is certainly “double taxation” in my opinion and just another way for our caring state gov. to find ways to tax us via “fees”. This is just the beginning folks. SuperDave and Myself are right. The fees will soon go up and other state and local entities will follow suit with this.

I got an introduction to this program a couple of weeks ago when I received an item in the mail that had a small handout stating to get ready for the new tax bill to be coming in the mail shortly. Actually they were gracious enough to put two copies of the notification in the envelope. What do you think that wasteful mailing cost? It must have been a waste because there was no politician taking credit for it.

Maybe that $84.4 million could be put to better use by building a prison to house these crooks and remove them from society.

Since the fire prevention education will mainly consist of a brochure to be mailed to the county residents, I propose that you let me produce an eye catching brochure with flames on it for a fee of $1.00 instead of $150. It would save residents a lot of money, and would consist of the same information that is available on the internet today.

I hope everyone thats gets billed fights this theft by those lousy slimeballs in Sacramento. The voters pass prop 13 and these thieves do this and call it a fee. They should have to work for a living. Better yet.hard labor, busting rocks, not the taxpayers balls.

I also understand this fee is being sent to homeowners in Fire Districts such as Cambria, Cayucos, Los Osos, and Avila. Even though it is a mistake, you still have to pay the bill or receive a fine. Only way out is to fill out a refund claim and hope the State will refund this illegal tax.

This is so wrong. I understand that this TAX is to be used solely for fire prevention education. None of the money is to used for fire supression which means no new equipment etc.. $84.4 million? What a waste of money for nothing. I learned all I need to know about fire prevention around 60 years ago fro Smokey the Bear.

If they should get away with it just wait, in two to 5 years it will go to 200 $ a parcel.

What a farce, they’ll end up buying more equipment that they don’t need and can hardly operate, and hiring more inept personal, and padding their retirement packages,claiming its all for prevention.

Next up the Police would like a parcel tax. They need new cars and stuff too… Where does it stop? When do they CUT their spending to match their income? We sure had to!