Fire Fee Refund Requirements
Emergency - fire fighters
The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association has challenged the constitutionality of the fire fee and if they win their lawsuit, they want to make sure you qualify for a refund.
The group's lawsuit argues the $150 SRA fee is really an illegal tax under Proposition 13. Proposition 13 requires that state tax increases be approved with a 2/3 vote. The SRA Fee was approved with a simple majority, under the opinion that it is a fee, and not a tax.
According to information from the HJTA, "If you are late, steep penalties and interest are compounded monthly. Moreover, the fee is a lien on your property, and failure to pay can result in foreclosure."
The organization is encouraging everyone that pays the fee to file an appeal with the state within 30 days. The organization states, "Should we prevail, the court may order refunds. To qualify for a refund you must have paid your bill and filed a "Petition for Redetermination."
To make it easier for taxpayers the group is offering the petition form with the grounds for challenging the fee already filled in and instructions to complete the form. Click here for that form and instructions.
Also, the organization recommends that you write "under protest" on your check and make a copy of it to enclose with your petition as proof of payment.
Written by Tracey Petersen