Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Bill to repeal fire tax fails in committee

From page A12 | April 19, 2013 | 5 Comments

SACRAMENTO – Although it received bi-partisan support, Senator Ted Gaines’ (R–Rocklin) bill to repeal the illegal fire tax (Senate Bill 17), failed recently in the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water on a four-to-three vote (with two members abstaining).

“I am extremely disappointed that the Committee failed to pass this bill. It was an opportunity to make things right with the 825,000 Californians stuck paying the illegal tax,” said Senator Gaines. “I would like to thank all of the constituents who came from across the state to testify in support of the bill. Their messages and testimony were impactful and made a difference.”

Senate Bill 17 would have reversed the Governor’s and legislative Democrats’ decision to raise $84 million in taxes by charging rural property owners a “fee” for fire prevention services as part of the 2011-12 budget. These communities are located in “State Responsibility Areas” (SRA) designated by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), even though their property taxes already contribute to the service contracts that counties have with Cal Fire.

“I vow to continue fighting this in every way possible and encourage those who have gotten stuck paying this phony fee to get in the arena and fight it too,” said Senator Gaines. “I have two additional bills that address different aspects of the illegal fire tax and I hope they find a better fate than Senate Bill 17.”

Senate Bill 125 would exempt a property owner of a structure that is located both within an SRA and within the boundaries of a local fire protection district from having to pay the $150 tax.

Senate Bill 147 would exempt any property owner located within an SRA who has an income of less than 200 percent of federal poverty level (as determined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Poverty Guidelines) from paying the $150 fire tax.

These bills have yet to be set for committee hearing.

Senator Gaines also strongly supports the lawsuit filed last month against the state by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association challenging the fee on constitutional grounds.

Senator Ted Gaines represents the 1st Senate District, which includes all or parts of Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra and Siskiyou counties.


Discussion | 5 comments

  • Greenwood BillApril 09, 2013 - 2:30 pm

    Grandstand play sucking up to his base as he knew that there was no way in h311 that it would even come close to passing.

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  • Janis smithApril 20, 2013 - 9:54 am

    I think its terrible that we have to pay this tax, not only is UNFAIR its a burden on those who have a limited income such as myself. WHY??? are only certain areas being singled out? I live 1/2 mile from the fire department which I thought was a good thing, now I hear it has nothing to do with it. I fail to see this tax is helpful, someone sat behind a desk all day long with nothing to do but dream up a bunch of crap!

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  • NancyApril 21, 2013 - 8:20 am

    Janis, you (we) are being singled out because most of CA's rural counties vote Republican. Google the demographic voting maps. The fire tax is a tax/fee on Conservatives and the Dems in these counties are being caught in the cross fire. (Just my honest opinion).

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • DB SmithApril 21, 2013 - 9:26 am

    The Governor and his other scumbag Democrats can never get enough. This ILLEGAL tax issue is not over yet! Now another new plan to help out our struggling state is they want to use over $700 million in excess county MediCal funds to pay for undocumented immigrants health care. I love the way they are re-phrasing it now. Undocumented is nothing other than ILLEGAL! More votes for the Democrats is all they are after. They obviously do not have the best interest of the legal citizen in mind. I swear to God you people that are not paying attention need to wake up and start realizing what the hell is going on in this country.

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netApril 21, 2013 - 9:56 am

    Reading is good...paper books are leaving--ereaders are winning--libraries are making deals with the on line libraries. What happens if the electricity goes out--or a big company with holds batteries? Where will information come from? is so important. History matters. Read.

    Reply | Report abusive comment


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