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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.

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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