Friday, January 13, 2012

LaMalfa proposes fire tax repeal

Via Brenda Haynes in Sen. Doug LaMalfa's office:
Senator Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) today announced the introduction of a measure that would repeal the rural fire tax passed last year. Assembly Bill 1506, authored by Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries and coauthored by Senator LaMalfa, eliminates the State Responsibility Area “fee” of up to $150 per habitable structure in rural areas of California.

“We believe this ‘fee’ to be, in fact, an unconstitutional tax with Prop. 26 implications,” said LaMalfa. “Not only should this tax have required a 2/3 vote rather than the majority-vote it received, but it results in triple taxation for residents who already fund local fire protection districts.”

Residents that reside within local fire protection districts may never receive these services they will be paying for from the state. The money collected from these residents, as a result, is spent on fire protection for other areas. According to Proposition 26, a majority-vote fee would provide a “specific government service or product provided directly to the payor.” This clearly makes this a 2/3 vote “tax.”

“We cannot continue to penalize the residents of California for the bad fiscal policy of our government,” added LaMalfa. “The devastation caused in recent years by wildfires in the state is a result of our mismanagement of public lands, not rural residents living their lives.”

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