Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Taxation without representation

EDITOR:

The BOE was so kind to send me a bill reminding me I owe them a bunch of money because I had the misfortune of being born in this state and I have a mortgage. That’s the only reason I can figure. Unless I’m being punished for living in El Dorado County. It’s not to pay for fire protection because this money goes through the BOE to the general fund and I already pay taxes that support my fire protection.

I thought it’s one of those “fairness” deals I kept getting dealt, but nope almost everyone who owns a home or pays a mortgage to a bank in our county got the same bill. I’m confused because places like L.A. and ‘Frisco don’t have to pay.

The Website they told me to read said that Valley folk have their own fire departments so they don’t have to pay. I looked around and found that for every dollar a resident of El Dorado pays in state taxes we get back .54 cents from Sacramento. Aren’t we already paying our “fair share?” For fairness sake shouldn’t everyone who owns a home in California pay this tax, or fee or whatever? Do they not clog up our roads with their camping gear to spend time in the state’s parks and forests throughout our county? Shouldn’t we put a toll on Highway 50 charging those people a trespass fee?

Is it too much conspiracy grassy knoll thinking to wonder why all the places around the state that vote primarily Democrat get a free pass when they benefit the most from the services? Are we being punished? How about this, the people of the Pioneer Fire District voted to give themselves a tax increase to pay for a service (fire protection) they were already being taxed for but was taken away. Now they have to pay the BOE again for the same service. Didn’t our forefathers dump King George for doing the same darn thing?

KEN STEERS
Cameron Park

Letters to the Editor

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Discussion | 16 comments

  • marjorieSeptember 13, 2012 - 5:04 pm

    This is the website to download the forms to file a protest about this tax. And when you make out your check, write 'Paid Under Protest' on the notation line. http://firetaxprotest.org

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  • Dink LaneSeptember 13, 2012 - 5:20 pm

    Administrations at ALL LEVELS...including this county give themselves RAISES + paid benefits... then they turn around and tell the people...We need $$$ to pay for Fire Protection or Police protection..... I pay taxes for PUBLIC SAFETY, ROAD, SCHOOLS and CLEAN WATER.... I don't pay taxes for 6-figure salaries or fancy Conference trips to Hawaii.... When were we asked to vote on a CAO or Board of Supervisor or Legislator's salary or fancy trips to Israel???? .... they take first and leave the Important things hurting for $$$$

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  • Ken SteersSeptember 21, 2012 - 2:42 pm

    We have people in high places of trust in our county who are plain out right stealing money allocated for programs and people that need it. These people have, through decades of maneuvering through the bureaucracy, developed the knowledge of how to put funds right into their own pockets for their personal gain. Not unlike the phoney college degrees. These people validate their wrong doing as it is their right and everyone is doing it. This is not a political situation. Republicans and Democrats are all complicit. The Left and the Right are in agreement this is a moral issue. The politicians are forewarned they have our attention.

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  • Don braySeptember 21, 2012 - 3:52 pm

    Gee, another letter containing a strange conspiracy theory. The fire fee does not apply in San Francisco or other urban centers since they are not at risk for forest fire, not because they vote democratic. Areas at risk should pay for service. Not familiar with the pioneer fire district mentioned but I doubt they own aerial tankers or have fire work crews like CalFire. Our state firefighters put their lives on the line for those of us who choose to live in rural areas, we should support them.

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  • NancySeptember 21, 2012 - 5:11 pm

    San Francisco is a densely populated city located in an earthquake zone. They are potentially as much at risk for fire as any where else. IMO, the forest fire excuse is just a rationale for CA politicians to steal our money. The next thing you know we'll have wine fee because we have wineries. Or a snow plow fee because we have occasional snow. Or how about wild turkey fee because we have wild turkeys.

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  • Ken SteersSeptember 21, 2012 - 5:23 pm

    Mr Bray, try not sounding like a jack ass. The Oakland Hills and Martinez fires used CALFIRE and their aerial tankers. But they that live in those areas are not taxed or fee'd again for this service. So if San Jose or Fresno catches on fire will CALFIRE respond with aerial tankers if needed? As far as your lame ass statement of supporting state firefighters. Obviously I am because I'm being taxed yet again for something I paid for. And guess what my check didn't bounce. So I guess my only appropriate response would be "thank you sir may I have another!" Regarding the fire situation, I know, I didn't start that.

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  • Ken SteersSeptember 21, 2012 - 5:29 pm

    Nancy, there is a wine fee and a tax on wineries. And we all were taxed to have snow plows. And our state taxed us to introduce the invasive turkey into our state. Maybe that's why they need to tax us again. They are running out of excuses.

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  • Don BraySeptember 21, 2012 - 6:45 pm

    I am reluctant to continue a debate where opposing viewpoints are presented with crude name calling . However,thie continuing whining by those who expect government service without paying reasonable costs is tough to ignore. Of course we need to oversee our government to make sure money is spent appropriately but we are a modern civilization needing to pool some resources for the public benefit. The benefits we enjoy living in this great country are not free. Wildfire risks are much greater in rural areas. Despite the 1906 earthquake reference, san Francisco has a lower risk of wildfire than El Dorado County. I don't enjoy paying taxes but I appreciate the benefits they provide. Yes, I will even be proud to ride the bullet train.

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  • terminatorSeptember 21, 2012 - 8:39 pm

    Ken Steersh*t thinks he is being clever when he turns someone else's name into a crude insult.

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  • NancySeptember 22, 2012 - 5:30 am

    Don, that bullet train will cost so much money to build that you and I and everybody else will not be able to afford the price of a ticket to ride it.

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  • Don BraySeptember 22, 2012 - 6:22 am

    Nancy - Investing in transportation infrastructure is always expensive. Public money is used to continuously expand our highway system and pay for expanding airports and our sea ports. Keeping our rail system up to modern standards will help us as our state continues to grow. How is it that our economic competitors have managed to invest in high speed rail while our transportation infrastructure continues to decline.

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  • Ken SteersSeptember 22, 2012 - 10:41 am

    This new fee is the 3rd time we have to pay for for the same service. Cal Fire is a State government entity that all Californians utilize it's service. The Oakland and Martinez fires for example. People in those areas are not subject to this tax increase. Simple fairness would have been to tax all Californians for this tax increase. The taxes raised go into the general fund. This new train system benefits those people in LA and the Bay area yet all Californians have to foot the bill. Again a government employee who tells me I have to pay taxes because, is simply irritating. Why is Eldorado County subjected to this tax increase and San Jose isn't. This is taxation with out representation.

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  • Don BraySeptember 23, 2012 - 8:22 am

    The new "fire fee" was approved by the senate and assembly and signed by the governor. These representatives were elected by the voters. Therefore, this could not be referred to as taxation without representation. The original legislation would have applied to all properties in the state but a minority of legislators (republicans) vetoed the original legislation. The final legislation did make some broad assumptions on which areas are of higher risk for fire. My friends on the north coast (a very liberal area) are upset with their fee believing that their colder climate decreases fire risk compared to the foothills and southern cal. Deciding which areas are " urban" and therefore exempt from the fee was an imperfect compromise like many laws are. Historically, much of the funding for state fire control actiivities were paid through the general fund. The general fund has been hit hard by falling revenues and increased spending while the costs for fighting wildfires has increased. Increased development in fire prone areas means that more homes and businesses expect protection from fires while contributing to higher risks for fires to start. Climate change can seriously increase fire risks in upcoming years (acres of land burned this year exceeds any year on record and the season hasn't ended). Overall, this legislation develops a stable, focused funding source for a program that provides benefits to those paying the fee ( including you and I). It was enacted legally, consistent with our form of government. While our representative form of government is flawed and needs oversight by an informed public, it is still better than other alternatives. Btw - I don't work for the government but I have personally been affected by wildfire and never want to go through that terrible experience again.

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  • Phil VeerkampMarch 18, 2013 - 9:47 pm

    Oh my!!! Another Ken Steers zombie letter rises from the MD morgue. How Do you do voodoo, Ken? Burried September 23, 2012 and yet it lives. Amazin'!

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  • rodMarch 20, 2013 - 10:13 am

    Hmmm, a new tax on rural residents for 'fire protection' (which was already taxed). ALL the gold bearing waters of CA now off limits to those that own and have used their legal claims (all rural). Almost exclusively it is the rural areas impacted by the Endangered Species Act, subject to 'takings' without compensation, where urban Eminent Domain takings ARE 'justly compensated' by law, and much much more to come. Are these progressive actions coincidental? Now think real hard, does Agenda 21 come to mind?

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  • cookie65March 20, 2013 - 10:43 am

    A wild lands fire in a red county that burns up a couple of out buildings and some empty field must be far more costly than and earthquake in a blue county. After all we know an earthquake in frisco or socal doesn't reqire any first responders, search and rescue or any rebuilding. It is no different than the tanning booth tax. It would be politically incorrect to mention that those who vote with the dems 95% of the time don't need a tan.

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