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Jon Coupal

HJTA Threatens to Sue over Fire Tax

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association announced today our intention to sue the State of California if it attempts to collect a new fire tax that could cost homeowners an additional $150 per year.

As the State’s largest taxpayer organization, we plan to file a lawsuit on the grounds that the new fire tax qualifies as a tax increase under Proposition 13 and should have required a two-thirds vote in the Legislature.

This new tax conjured up by Governor Brown and his hand-picked State Fire Board creates an undue hardship on California homeowners who are already struggling to pay their mortgages. Homeowners and taxpayers in California have had enough of the state budget shell games. The fire tax is illegal, and if implemented, we will fight to have it overturned.

Before a suit can be filed, the state must begin collecting the new tax so that Jarvis lawyers can represent as plaintiffs those who must pay, meaning the actual legal battle will not begin until sometime next year. HJTA has already lined up hundreds of homeowners who have volunteered to act as plaintiffs as soon as they receive a tax bill.

 We’ll keep you updated.

One Response to “HJTA Threatens to Sue over Fire Tax”

  1. Tom Hudson Says:

    This may be the most important tax lawsuit in a generation.

    The new Fire Prevention Fee is not only a direct attack on Proposition 26, but it also represents a new kind of property tax that violates and undermines Proposition 13 and Proposition 218. If the new Fire Prevention Fee is not overturned, the Legislature will have created a gigantic loophole that will undermine all of the taxpayer protections in the California Constitution.

    If the state was really planning to offer new and better firefighting services in some parts of the state, they could have allowed the residents of those areas to approve the new assessments in accordance with Proposition 218. What is wrong with letting people choose? We know that people are willing to pay for firefighting services since nearly all of the people who will be paying this new tax live in areas that have approved special assessments for firefighting.

    Instead, the Legislature decided to impose this new tax in a coercive manner. This proves that they know that taxpayers would not have approved these new assessments, because they will not get anything in return.

    Tom Hudson, Executive Director
    California Taxpayer Protection Committee