SACRAMENTO (August 10, 2012) - Senator Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) and Assemblyman Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) commented today on the announcement that the state will begin mailing bills to residents in State Responsibility Areas, widely known as the fire tax. Put forward by Governor Brown, the proposal will charge rural Californians as much as $150 per habitable structure, though most will not receive any additional services funded by the tax.
"The fire tax is simply another effort to blame rural Californians for the danger the state has caused through mismanagement of public lands. Most of the Californians getting hit with this tax won't receive any benefit at all, and many already pay local taxes for fire services," said LaMalfa. "In fact, the state is spending millions of dollars and hiring 50 new workers to collect a tax that has a strong chance of being overturned in court."
"The goal of this measure is more taxes to fund an out-of-control state government and a broken budget," said Nielsen. "The tax will be expanded and applied to more and more structures on our properties to fund bureaucracy without increasing protection of our lives or property. Citizens must launch a firestorm of demands to repeal this tax to legislators throughout California and further support Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association lawsuit against this tax."
LaMalfa and other rural lawmakers have coauthored Assembly Bill 1506 to repeal the fire tax, which was passed with a simple majority vote and may violate Proposition 26, the voter-approved measure requiring that all tax increases receive a two-thirds vote of the legislature.