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Gaines Seeking To Repeal Fire Tax

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Sacramento, CA– Senator Ted Gaines is seeking to repeal a bill recently signed by Governor Jerry Brown that places a $150 annual wildfire protection tax for property owners in rural areas of California. 

On Wednesday, Senator Gaines filed paperwork that would ask voters to overturn the tax, which was passed by the state Legislature on a simple majority vote as part of the state budget package.

“It’s an illegal tax, pure and simple,” said Gaines. “Many rural property owners already pay local fire agencies for protection so this is double-taxation.”

The new tax affects rural homeowners in State Responsibility Areas that are determined by CAL Fire, even though their property taxes already contribute to the service contracts that counties have with them.

According to census and CALFire data, Senator Gaines’ largely rural district includes more than 140,000 occupied and vacant structures that could be subject to the fee.

Gaines contends that AB X29 is merely a tax that attempts to sidestep Prop. 26, the initiative passed last June that prevents the Legislature from disguising taxes as “fees” and constitutional requirements for passing higher taxes.

“I’m happy to be working with the California Republican Party and other key supporters to fight for taxpayer rights,” said Gaines. “Californians are getting a raw deal and I am going to do everything I can to make sure it is overturned.”

Senator Gaines District 1 represents Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Mono, Plumas and Sierra Counties,and portions of Nevada, Placer and Sacramento Counties.

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