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Home Uncategorized Update: Cap-and-Trade bill and Changes to the Fire Prevention Fee

Update: Cap-and-Trade bill and Changes to the Fire Prevention Fee

This week the Legislature passed Assembly Bill 398, purportedly designed to curb carbon emissions.  This will lead to another increase of 71 cents on a gallon of gasoline. This comes on top of the 12 cent increase they just approved.  (There seems to be no end to the misery that Sacramento is willing to impose on average California taxpayers.)
Because AB 398 amounts to a tax increase, passage required a two-thirds vote under Proposition 13.  To gain enough support for passage, leadership sought to “bribe” fiscally conservative lawmakers who represent rural areas, by “suspending” the fire tax.  This means no fire tax bills next year.
At HJTA we are pleased that this illegal tax has been “suspended,” but there is no guarantee that once they have achieved their goals, they will not reinstate this tax, which, of course, they call a “fee.”  Additionally, lawmakers have not provided any provision for refunds of the hundreds or thousands of dollars so many rural homeowners have already paid.
Because of this, HJTA lawyers will continue to aggressively prosecute the suit against the State of California to have the fire tax declared illegal, and to require refunds to be made to those homeowners who have filed a request for “redetermination” (legalese for paying under protest).
Despite State lawyers doing everything to delay this case, we hope to have a decision by the superior court before the end of the year.
We will keep you posted on new developments.

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