After the Legislature, by a mere majority vote, imposed a fire protection “fee” on 850,000 rural homeowners who live in state responsibility areas, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association filed suit against the state. At issue: the “fee” provided no additional or new services to property owners, and many property owners receive no service at all; therefore it clearly meets the Proposition 13 definition of a tax, which requires a two-thirds vote of lawmakers.
In an effort to protect all charged taxpayers, our suit was filed as a “class action.” Lawyers for the state, who want to continue to collect the illegal tax, have filed repeated motions to delay trial, including motions to dismiss the case and motions challenging the “class action” status of the suit. After nearly four years of legal work, the court has ruled that the case may proceed as a class action. We have just completed the public notification process that a class action suit requires. It is our hope and intention that the legal process will now proceed rapidly.
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