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BOE Member George Runner

Cal Fire Should Halt Billing of Fire Victims

Today, I sent a letter to Cal Fire urging them to stop the collection of state “Fire Prevention Fee” from victims of the Clover Fire in Shasta County and the Rim Fire in Tuolumne and Mariposa counties.

Despite the heroic efforts of firefighters, these fires destroyed dozens of homes in my district. I am appalled the State of California would actually consider sending a tax bill to the very individuals who just lost their homes. Taxes are the last thing fire victims should have to worry about.

The Board of Equalization is required by law to mail “Fire Prevention Fee” bills on behalf of Cal Fire to nearly 800,000 Californians each year. Although the bills for Mariposa County went out in August, the bills for Shasta and Tuolumne counties do not mail until October 16 and October 28 respectively.

I also asked Cal Fire to authorize refunds for fire victims who have already received and paid a bill this year.

When and how Cal Fire will respond remains to be seen.

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