The Fire Fee Shell Game: You Lose!
Democrats in the California Legislature seem to be facing the reality that the fire tax they passed with the Governor’s help in 2011 is unfair. Californians who live in rural areas rely on a range of public services from multiple levels of government to combat fires. These residents already pay taxes to fund essential fire services.
The original fire fee was a scheme Governor Brown came up with after diverting about $90 million a year in fire prevention funds to help “balance” the state budget. Residents have gained nothing since this shell game passed. Not a dime of fire fee revenues can be used for actual fire suppression — trucks, planes or hoses. The funds can only be used for “prevention” efforts, which seem to be few and far between.
However, instead of simply repealing this onerous fire prevention fee, Democrats now want to replace a really bad policy with an even worse one.
AB 1203, authored by Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer is currently awaiting consideration by the Legislature. The bill would repeal the fire fee, but replace it with a 3 to 5 percent insurance surcharge on all commercial and residential property statewide. The money… Read More