SACRAMENTO - North State Assemblyman and Chief Republican Whip Dan Logue voted today against implementing the Governor's Fire Tax passed last June as part of the budget.
"This is just another attack by Sacramento on rural taxpayers," said Logue. "Out-of-control government spending has forced liberals to make illegal attempts like this to raise taxes."
The Assembly Budget Subcommittee Number Four took action today to implement the State Responsibility Area fire prevention fee (aka, the Fire Tax) that was passed last year as part of the majority party budget. Assemblyman Logue made a motion to reject a request by the Board of Equalization for $6.4 million and 57 permanent positions in order to collect the fee from property owners. However, the majority party members of the committee defeated the motion and approved the request on a party-line vote. In January the state Board of Forestry and Fire Protection enacted regulations for the collection of $150 for each "habitable structure" on a property owner's land. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association announced that it would sue to stop the implementation of this fee because they believe it violates the California Constitution as an illegally-enacted tax. The bill enacting the Fire Tax was passed without the required two-thirds vote for new taxes and fees.
"These homeowners already pay income taxes, property taxes, and many also pay local fire protection service fees, so the Fire Tax is completely unfair and unnecessary," Logue opined. "This is a money grab, plain and simple. It does nothing to improve or enhance the safety of those who live in state responsibility areas."
Final approval of the funding for implementation of the Fire Tax will be taken up in the full Budget Bill that will be voted on in June.
Assemblyman Logue represents the 3rd Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Butte, Lassen, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sierra and Yuba.