Repeal Fire Tax?
A debate is heating up in Sacramento again over the $150 rural fire fee.
The fee will be paid yearly by rural homeowners in the State Responsibility Areas of CAL Fire. The fee was put in place by California lawmakers last year as a way to reduce the state budget deficit. Most rural homeowners will only pay $115, as there is a discount for living in an established fire protection district.
25th District Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen is co-authoring Assembly Bill 1506, which calls for a repeal of the new tax. "This tax is unfair to rural residents who already pay additional property taxes for fire protection," says Olsen.
Olsen notes that the original vote to adopt the fee has come under scrutiny. It was approved with a simple majority rather than a two-thirds vote. Critics argue that it is a tax, rather than a simple fee, and should have required a super majority. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association is preparing a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality in court.
Olsen's bill is expected to be heard soon at an Assembly Committee Hearing On Natural Resources.
Written by BJ Hansen