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News: Lawsuit calls California rural ‘fire tax’ illegal

Published on July 19, 2013 by in Uncategorized

Citizens showed up to court in red “Burned by the Fire Tax” tee shirts to support the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association’s lawsuit, which says the so-called fire “fee” is really a tax passed without the two thirds vote required by Prop. 13.  Taxpayers who are now expected to pay the fire tax say their opinions were not considered by the Legislature and feel they are not receiving any new benefits.  The important questions raised by the fire tax are not likely to be decided soon as the lawsuit is ongoing.

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News: Is it a tax or a fee?

Published on May 6, 2013 by in Uncategorized

Butte County officials joined with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association to speak out against the fire tax at a forum held at a local fire station.  Senator Nielsen argued the tax was passed illegally without the required two thirds vote and challenged the argument that people in rural areas should pay more for living in fire-prone areas, pointing out there is no earthquake tax for people living in earthquake-prone LA and San Francisco.

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News: East County residents complain about state fire fees

Published on April 26, 2013 by in Uncategorized

Assemblyman Brian Jones spoke out against the fire tax, saying the illegal tax was the top issue his constituents are complaining about.  100,000 people in San Diego County have been hit with the fire tax and some citizens said they were being charged the tax even on homes that no longer exist because they burned down.

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Press Release: Runner Says New Fire Fee Bills Will Be Delayed

Published on March 20, 2013 by in Uncategorized

George Runner announced that the Board of Equalization will delay this year’s fire fee bills in response to a request from Cal Fire.  The bills were scheduled to begin mailing April 2.  “The delay appears to be related to concerns about accuracy of the billing data,” said Runner. “I’m pleased to see that Cal Fire is admitting there’s a problem.”

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Important update: You must pay your 2013 fire tax bill

Published on March 19, 2013 by in Uncategorized

A new round of fire tax bills will soon be arriving in mailboxes around California.  While the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association believes the fire tax is illegal according to Proposition 13, you are still required to pay your bill pending resolution of the lawsuit.  More detailed instructions from the legal department are available in the FireTaxProtest.org newsletter update below.

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Editorial: State agencies still playing hide-and-seek

Published on February 8, 2013 by in Uncategorized

The Orange County Register criticizes Cal Fire’s secret money scandal as another example of government agencies hiding money so they can lobby the public for more taxes.  The paper urges the Governor to take the scandal seriously instead of dismissing it as “boring,” and furthermore calls for an end to the fire tax.

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News: Jerry Brown downplays Cal Fire reports, dubs it ‘boring story’

Published on February 5, 2013 by in Uncategorized

When asked about over $3 million in taxpayer funds hidden in a secret account by Cal Fire, Governor Brown dismissed the news as “boring,” although he did say he would look into it.  Senate Republican leader Bob Huff criticized the Governor for his remarks, describing the Cal Fire scandal as “very disturbing.”

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Editorial: Cal Fire burns taxpayers by hiding our money

Published on February 4, 2013 by in Uncategorized

The Sacramento Bee speaks out against Cal Fire for hiding $3.66 million in funds that should have been deposited in the General Fund.  The newspaper says Cal Fire missed numerous opportunities to come clean about the money and lost the trust of many citizens who had expected the agency to behave more responsibly.

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News: Cal Fire uses hidden funds for conference at Pismo Beach resort

Published on January 30, 2013 by in Uncategorized

Following questions raised by the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal regarding $3.6 million in hidden money at the agency, Cal Fire has released a spreadsheet with information on how these funds were spent.  Among the expenses are $33,000 for a conference at a Pisomo Beach resort, $30,000 for GPS vehicle trackers and $22,000 for metal detectors.  Senator Ted Gaines has called for a criminal investigation.

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Editorial: State hoarding rural fire tax as locals starve

Published on January 30, 2013 by in Uncategorized

The Redding Record Searchlight says the Legislature has failed to spend fire tax revenueon fire protection activities as they promised.  The laws says localities, fire safe councils, the California Conservation Corps and fire prevention nonprofits are supposed to receive the revenue but so far they have not received a penny.

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