Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Fee Fire Faux Tax
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.”