Legislative Update, 3/18/2013 – CCFA supports legislation to repeal or amend the SRA fee

by Cate Moore on March 20, 2013

CCFA has sent letters of support for the following bills, all of which relate to the SRA fee or fire tax: AB 23, AB 124, SB 17 and SB 125.  AB 23, AB 124 and SB 17 all call for the repeal of the fee.  SB 125 exempts people who reside in a fire district other than CalFIRE from the fee.

Our reasons for supporting the repeal/abolition of the fire tax remain as they were last year:

*  Fees are supposed to be paid for services received.  No one to our knowledge has actually received a service for paying this “fee”.

*  The money collected is not being used to exclusively fund fire prevention activities.

*  Many people who pay this “fee” reside in local fire districts, which provide all of their fire protection and fire prevention services

*  Local districts provide mutual aid assistance to CalFIRE but do not receive any benefit from the fee for those services

*  There are large districts that regularly receive mutual aid assistance from CalFIRE for large fire events like Los Angeles County that are NOT paying this fee.

We invite your participation in the debate.  Both assembly bills are currently assigned to the Assembly Natural Resources Committee and both Senate Bills are in the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee.  Committee contact information can be found below.  Tell the committees that you are a rural resident subject to the fee and list your reasons for opposing it.

Assembly Natural Resources Committee
1020 N Street, Room 164
Sacramento, CA 95814

Chair: Assemblyman Chesbro, Vicechair: Assemblyman Grove

Senate  Natural Resources and Water Committee
State Capitol, Room 403
Sacramento, CA 95814

Chair: Senator Pavley,   Vicechair: Senator Cannella

Meanwhile, on March 13, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association officially served CalFIRE, the Board of Equalization and the Department of Justice with their suit arguing that the SRA Fire Prevention Fee, aka the fire tax, is an illegal tax enacted in violation of Prop 13.

Over the last week, bills have continued to be assigned to committees. The following bills have been amended: AB 37, AB 203, and AB 823.  Committee hearings are coming up for AB 8, AB 203, AB 383, AB 769, AB 823, AB 1213, SB 17, SB 125, SB 132, SB 621 and SB 749.  Please see our attached legislative progress table for details and links into the bills.

CA Legislation Progress 3_18_2103

(We know you have to squint to read this table.  We’re working on finding a way to make it display larger.)


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