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Lake Elsinore Lawmaker Seeks End To State Fire Tax

Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries (R-Lake Elsinore) and Assemblyman Paul Cook (R-Beaumont) introduced a bill last week that would do away with the state fire tax.

The day after legislation was announced that proposes to nearly double the state fire tax for some county property owners, a Lake Elsinore lawmaker said he wants to see the tax eliminated altogether.

Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries (R-Lake Elsinore) and Assemblyman Paul Cook (R-Beaumont) introduced a bill last week that would do away with the state fire tax.

The Inland Empire lawmakers brought forth AB 1x45 in response to a proposal by members of the Senate Committee on Budget & Fiscal Review to hike the state fire protection fee from $90 to a minimum $175.

Gov. Jerry Brown sought the fee as part of his 2011-12 deficit reduction plan, and the Legislature approved a new $150 assessment in June. However, after a review, the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection last month slashed the fee to $90.

The reduction would cut anticipated revenue to the state by around $50 million.

The per parcel fire protection fee would apply to around 700,000 rural property owners throughout California who reside in so-called “state responsibility areas'' that are serviced exclusively by Cal Fire. Monies raised would be deposited into an account set up to finance fire prevention efforts, according to state officials.

Members of the Senate Committee on Budget & Fiscal Review introduced SBx17 on Thursday to overturn the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection's action.

Under the Senate bill, a property owner would owe a minimum $175 annually for state fire protection services. However, that amount could go as high as $3,000 for rural residents with large amounts of land.

“It's bad enough that many homeowners are already being double-taxed for their fire protection because of June's illegal fire tax,'' Cook said. “Now the governor and his allies in the Legislature are proposing even steeper taxes on struggling rural homeowners ... We can't afford another tax increase.''

The bill from Cook and Jeffries would repeal the fire tax altogether.

The new charge has been widely criticized by Riverside and San Diego counties elected officials. Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone has indicated he will introduce a resolution condemning the fee this month. –City News Service and Toni McAllister contributed to this report.

Rosa Hasler September 07, 2011 at 12:41 AM
Diana - Wouldn't the owner of the property be responsible? - not the tenant. Just asking.
DDMH September 07, 2011 at 03:58 PM
Someone has to pay for these services. Could it be that the property owners you lease from (if you are leasing) are passing their costs on to you rather than paying these fees themselves. It could be another example of "privatizing the profits while socializing the losses (costs)". Also, if you are leasing with other tenants, how many people are paying for the same storm and/or sewer drain etc.?
Diana September 07, 2011 at 04:26 PM
This is the scenario...EVMWD comes into your business and leaves you and application and some information on a water discharge ordinance permit, three months later they returned and asked if we filled out the app, we told them no, the inspector says that he needs to inspect our building to make sure we don't have any floor drains, upon completing the inspection he fills out a form stating that there are no floor drains and the only sewage access is toilets. He then wants to collect $390.00, $180.00 is for his 10 min inspection, the other $180.00 is for an annual permit fee to use the toilet??? After some very choice words to him referring to extortion, compliance and the fact that their program has been in place since 1973, we've been in business same building since 1994 why now? I refused to fill out the application and pay the fees stating that I am one tenant in a 14 unit complex my water is included in my rent and I will not be responsible for others in the building and what they use their toilet for but ours is for human waste only and he leaves. He returns in a week wanting to know if I have filled out the application for the permit, I told him "no" and I have no intention of filling it out, he then writes me a non-compliance notice with a fine of $280.00. I am now in debt to EVMWD for $670.00 for the use of a toilet?? They also hit up two other businesses that are in our complex, most other businesses work on the weekends or mornings and nights so not sure..cont
Diana September 07, 2011 at 04:31 PM
if they contacted them. It is my understanding that they are trying to get these extorted fees out of every automotive shop, tire shops included, restaurants, boat marine shops and so on in our town. EVMWD controls LE to my understanding, they are suppose to be a non-profit organization? Our Governor lifted the water rationing yet LE is still being rationed and controlled over water rights. Surrounding towns are NOT rationing? Our drinking water is unsafe to drink, this comes from our own Council and EVMWD is worried about what goes down the toilet? Everything used in my shop is recycled and I have manifests to prove it which EVMWDS inspector didn't much care about...are we living in the Capone days...pay off's to stay in business. Oh yea, the County now wants $496.00 for a Storm Drain permit too...good way to keep businesses in town with employees or you wonder why no one wants to open a business here??? Corruption!!!!!!!!!
David Pereira September 07, 2011 at 05:32 PM
Wow Diana that stinks. I can't stand EVMWD. The rates go up every six months or so and the quality of service isn't getting any better. I'm sorry to hear your story. I also own a business but it's in Costa Mesa and I was thinking of moving it out here but I think after hearing what you said I might be changing my mind. Maybe I'll just leave it where it is.
Diana September 07, 2011 at 05:52 PM
Oh David...these two entities are only a drop in the bucket of doing business in Riverside County/LE, the wrath of Code Enforcement from the County for the past 6 months has targeted every business in the County and ran most of them out of here with violations.The Government may say that they are not raising taxes however they have come up with new permits, ordinances, and compliance's to still be able to obtain money from businesses. I tried to appeal to the compassionate side of EVMWD that if they keep adding on all these fee's it will put my business out of business, employees on unemployment and so on, he did not care. Like a dog with a bone all he cares about is the money. Again this is just one reason why LE City and County are the way they are, who in their right mind would want to come here and open a business, we are actually considering other avenues for ourselves, it is ridiculous and changes monthly.
Connie September 07, 2011 at 06:05 PM
I just saw on television that Riverside County has for the 44th month in a row come in #1 with the honors of being the worst in job creation! Just another reason businesses can't thrive in California and especially in this county.
Diana September 07, 2011 at 11:22 PM
That makes sense who wants to come here and create jobs for people when those in charge make it impossible to stay in business with all there petty fees and so on. If Mr Jefferies wants to fight for something he should fight for the businesses that are in the town where he lives and help those that need jobs get jobs and bring in new businesses for these people, it's sad when an Assembly man ignores his own home town???
Anon September 08, 2011 at 12:52 AM
Paying for the pensions of those tools!
Popeye September 08, 2011 at 03:49 AM
Because there is no vision except for digging up dirt.
DDMH September 08, 2011 at 02:01 PM
Our city government is mostly Republicans. This is a very conservative district and has been forever. Again the question, is, what do you want? No government or good government? Good government means fair rules and regulations to insure safety and honesty for all. Rules of engagement that allow the small businesses to compete alongside the larger businesses to keep variety and competition in the market along with safety and truth in advertising. Less or very little government means deregulation and privatization. You can say and sell whatever whether safe or true. Profit trumps all. That is what the corporation is mandated to do. If you are a small business, not one of a chain or gargantuan franchise conglomerate you take your chances and you pay your dues whether they are fair or valid. And if you are small in this town you don't stand a chance. Mom and pops are falling one by one. They are giving up in many cases because to feel victimized and work the long hours that having your own business requires just to break even is no any way to live and certainly not fun. Yes my friends all politics are local. How does it feel?
Martha L. Bridges September 08, 2011 at 03:33 PM
Cities love the big box stores and only pay lip service to caring about small businesses. They give the big companies special treatment from day one; they reduce or waive planning and building fees, and often sign contracts that return portions of sales tax revenue to them for years to defray their start-up costs. It IS all about money. City councils make these concessions because they are banking on getting a large, long term sales tax revenue stream...money that gets dumped into their general fund budget to be spent any way they want. Unless small businesses deliver a unique product, better service or special selection they are doomed from the start. That's the way our embedded system works today. However, getting back to the original point of this article, the sewer fees are collected from businesses and homeowners alike. We all pay these fees either yearly or monthly - for forever. The water company and other utilities are for profit businesses too, and they may tell everyone they are here to "serve" the public interests, but they are actually in business to make money - in the case of EVMWD a whole lots of money. This is what you get when fair rules and regulations are decreased or discarded. I can remember the long-ago days when the Public Utilities Commission actually did represent the public interests and their regs had teeth behind them. Not so any more now that we have deregulation and privatization.
DDMH September 08, 2011 at 04:38 PM
You all know that a very large majority of our city and county government has, for a long time, been and is still controlled by the Republican Party. Not that I have anything against Republicans, I'm just saying that they need to take ownership of the current small business state of affairs. This is a very conservative district with very entrenched policies and controls. It has been this way for a long time. I pose again the questions, WHAT IF and WHY NOT? WHAT IF we had good and cooperative government that facilitated and streamlined the processes, red tape, and costs of owning and operating business here in our town? WHY NOT have a council of Small Business (not the Chamber of Commerce)_ as a cabinet position to deal in public with matters that need to be addressed. WHAT IF we changed the business as usual M.O.? WHY NOT have a review of all small business regulations. WHAT IF we looked at ideas from other communities and found what has been tested and working for them? WHY NOT create fact finding missions on line and in the field to see how other communities are changing to meet the economic crisis. WHAT IF we asked the SBA to consult and help us find solutions? Let’s stop feeling like victims. Let's start being the inspiration for change for ourselves and for the future legacy we leave our kids. Just think what it would be like to leave a thriving family business to them once more. WHY NOT!
Diana September 08, 2011 at 04:49 PM
Martha, the Owner of the building already pays a sewer fee on his water bill. What EVMWD is now trying to do is collect from individual businesses that "DO NOT HAVE WATER SERVICE IN THEIR NAMES AND OUR TENANTS", imagine a building of 14 units and 14 tenants EVMWD collects their fees for use of the toilet at $390.00 per unit, that's $5460.00 and that is for one building that is leased out, plus the Owner paying whatever amount of sewer fee that is already on his water bill. This is corruption no matter how you look at it!!!!!!
Diana September 08, 2011 at 05:26 PM
DDMH, very well said. The problem with small business versus major corporations is that the small business man is treated the same. Actually major corporations may possibly receive more tax breaks then the small business man. We pay the same taxes, insurance rates, fees, permits and licenses as the large corporations without having the dollar figures and capitol that corporate America does. In the day it was Mom & Pop businesses that were the back bone of Amerrica but now the Government wants to destroy them and replace them with huge corporations for the tax money revenue. With the way the governing agents are going after small businesses with their newly generated permits and fees it is just a matter of time before the small business man will be forced to shut their doors, placing employees in unemployment lines and taking money out of towns just like Lake Elsinore. We are fortunate that because we are a specialty business serving the race industry all over the Nation and other countries we can regroup and relocate to a much more friendly business State, other small businesses are not that fortunate and end up closing their doors forever because of our greedy local officials and CA Government.
Diana September 08, 2011 at 06:58 PM
I would like to know if anyone knows if EVMWD just got fined for not being in compliance with the treatment of the discharge water from the sewer system???????? It could of been a while back. Thanks
DDMH September 08, 2011 at 08:10 PM
Is it time for Elsinore consumers to just take it or leave it? If you can’t find it at Walmart or Target is just doesn’t exist. Or if you do find what you want is it a buyer beware environment? Big business and corporations make and change the rules to advantage them through deregulation and creative taxation legislation that they get their paid for politician to pass. There’s subsidies, off shoring profits, tax credits, carve outs and carried interest. These are all examples of what lobbyists do in Washington and downtown Elsinore every day. Then you and I have to pay for their unfair share. Don’t kid yourself even if your tax rate is the same as other businesses you won’t enjoy the same deductions that the big players do. You pay higher taxes than they do with things like fees, licenses, and fines. Legislative lobbying takes place at the local, state and federal levels. The power in this country is not with the people right now. It can be and yours is an example of one single action that can make a difference and get people to stand up, take notice, and take action for fairness and equality.
Debra S September 08, 2011 at 10:22 PM
What are they, the mob? They act sure act like it. By the way, Jackie, you are not paying for their pensions, the employees do out of their own pockets... more misinformation.
Debra S September 08, 2011 at 10:26 PM
I miss the "Do-It Center".
Susy Gall September 09, 2011 at 02:39 PM
Since you seem to hate everything about Lake Elsinore, Cleveland Ridge or Riverside County why don't you move????????? Oh yes then you would have to find a new home for your road racing business who no one seems to know exists.
Diana September 09, 2011 at 04:33 PM
Susy: You act like you know me or know where I live or what I do with my business, which quite frankly my dear is none of your business. It is not a matter of "hating" where I live...in the real world these are genuine concerns that are voiced and spoken about not only by myself but others that do not like what they see or the changes that are, or are not taking place in the area in which their hard earned tax dollars are squandered. Perhaps you live in the perfect Barbie world, sheltered from taxation, loss of property value, and controlling of a business that you spent the past twenty years establishing...for me I live in reality and what I post is the way I see it...if you don't like what I post then please stop reading my postings...I promise it won't hurt my feelings!
LarryLaker September 09, 2011 at 04:39 PM
Hey Cranky people, Please read the law as passed by the voters. EVMWD is just doing what the law and the voters want done. These rules cost money, to bad the no one told the voters before they passed it. The 1972 act introduced the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), which is a permit system for regulating point sources of pollution.[8] Point sources include: industrial facilities (including manufacturing, mining, oil and gas extraction, and service industries) municipal governments and other government facilities (such as military bases), and some agricultural facilities, such as animal feedlots. Point sources may not discharge pollutants to surface waters without a permit from the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). This system is managed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in partnership with state environmental agencies. EPA has authorized 46 states to issue permits directly to the discharging facilities. The CWA also allows tribes to issue permits, but no tribes have been authorized by EPA. In the remaining states and territories, the permits are issued by an EPA regional office.[9] (See Titles III and IV.)
Diana September 09, 2011 at 07:21 PM
Very informative and thank you Larry...I don't recall voting for this however i'm sure the tree huggers were all over this at voting time. According to the EVMWD the permit that I am having a problems with was put into action in 2005 and they are just now getting around to bringing businesses into compliance? I am assuming that recently EVMWD must have gotten fined themselves from higher sources for their treatment of pollutants in their discharge system and therefore they have created this new permit for businesses to help pay for the upgrade of their system so that they are in compliance. I may be wrong about this but it just makes sense to the fact "why now"???
LarryLaker September 09, 2011 at 07:59 PM
I heard about that and it was all about salts in the water. Not the same but close
Dirty Modona September 09, 2011 at 08:43 PM
Diana--you are extremly rude!!! There are about three or four bloggers who act like they own this forum. They all tell each other good job and if they don't like someone's comment then they all gang up on that person. They remind me of this old bully "councilwoman Melendez" who is the same way on the council.... These bloggers need to find a different hobby. All these 4 or 5 same bloggers seem very unhappy with this city and all they do is complain. Get the "F" out, you stupid keyboard warriors and go live somewhere else and please take this old big haired freak old lady Melendez with you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Joe Who September 10, 2011 at 12:17 PM
Dirty Modona, you really are dirty...but your comment is funny. There are about four or five of them who like to see their names appear on patch's front page. Economy is bad and they can't find a different activity.hahaha. You are also right on about Melendez.LOL old lady!!
Connie September 10, 2011 at 05:30 PM
@ Dirty Modona your name appropriately describes you. A true lady would never use the type of language you engage in. Any person that resorts to the use of profanity, can't win the debate. Please show respect, and perhaps others might take you seriously.
Stormy September 12, 2011 at 05:16 PM
Dirty Madonna & Suzy, Diana isn't the rude one on here you two are...really...she just posted concerns wanting answers and you two call her rude...why don't you two go to My Space or some chat room that is more suited for your words. These people that post on here are concerned for what is happening to them where they live....and looking for answers.
Anon September 12, 2011 at 11:09 PM
Dirty Madonna you are rude. Freakin grow up!
Paula Phillips September 22, 2012 at 10:31 PM
It is down and dirty once again it is only to feed the coffers as they cannot seem to get a handle on all the greed and corruption in our city, county and State governments. We need people who value the dollars they collect to run these governing bodies honestly and with due diligence get a handle on the pensions that have become a noose around the functioning of our cities, counties and the State Government. We are just done with the far left progressive way of things it is like a vacuum sucking the life out of our State. If they can not put we the people first then we must remove them from their posts and put people with values in and I am thinking they all must take a drug test, a lie detector test each month while they serve as we are not able to trust anymore what politicians say or do.

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