Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fee Fire Faux Tax

Sacramento is completely out of control.  The latest outrage is a new $115-$150 Cal Fire "fee" for fire protection.

Acorn - Homeowners in unincorporated areas of Ventura County will be receiving bills for a new state-imposed fire prevention fee starting this week.
In accordance with Assembly Bill X1 29, signed by the Legislature in July 2011, about 8,000 parcels in the county’s State Responsibility Area (SRA) will be levied $115 a year per habitable structure on the property.
...In 2011-12, the state cut about $85 million from Cal Fire’s budget, he said. The new fees are expected to net between $85 and $89 million. But in Ventura County, Cal Fire contracts with the Ventura County Fire Department to provide these services, and VCFD opposes the new fee.
...Also opposing the fee is the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. The anti-tax group is seeking to overturn the law because it believes the imposed fee meets the definition of a tax, which requires two-thirds legislative approval, and the fee was enacted with only a majority vote.
...“We understand everyone’s concerns,” Mathisen said. “Cal Fire as well as the Board of Equalization are in a position of having to implement the governor’s directives. We appreciate the ability to provide fire prevention services, and this will help support that effort.”
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 Got that?  The state defunds Cal Fire and then taxes the residents for the same service.  The legislature knows full well this will never pass a court challenge but by then they'll have collected the money and giving it back, you know, these things take time. 

8 comments:

Jim the Realtor said...

Yep, our local FD opposed it too - said they didn't need the money (they tear your head off at the Building dept desk instead).

Cobradriver said...

Speaking of taxes....

LLC

or

Scorp?

My head hurts...the account that does taxes for a neighbor and a few local businesses said Scorp...

I hope to have a written offer ready Saturday if the financials check out.

I should get with you Rob and we can do a series on the joys of purchasing and expanding a business in the current enviroment...LOL...

Chris

Rob Dawg said...

S-Corp if it fits.

Cinco-X said...

I'm not sure I see the issue...when I was a kid, unincorporated areas didn't get the benefit of a fire dept. If an entity too small for a FD wanted coverage, they levied a tax (or a fee) and bought it from another incorporated area.
I don't see why folks should expect FD coverage without paying for it, or why they should expect the state as a whole to pick up the tab. I guess the outlook is different out there where you lose 100's of 1000's of acres to fire every year compared to the rainy East Coast...

Rob Dawg said...

They were paying for it through taxes. Now they still pay the taxes and a new fee.

This is just another BigGov blood funnel looking for a new orifice.

w said...

The problem is that an unincorporated suburban community like Santa Rosa Valley in Ventura County is treated like properties in rural areas.

There are a few thousand homes on mostly 1 acre lots along one main road. 1 minute North is the city of Moorpark, 1 minute South is the city of Thousand Oaks, 2 minutes West is the city of Dawgville. The fire protection is contracted with the VCFD.

Yet these homes are being taxed (many for $300 since they have a second habitable dwelling) as if they are in some remote area of the state where state fire is responsible.

Rob Dawg said...

Good points "w."

The VCFD doesn't need the money because there is no incremental cost to provide service. The staffing and equipment necessary to do their peak response job is larger than any possible demand these properties would ever require.

Thomas Stone said...

It's not real popular here for a lot of the reasons Dawg mentions.