Letters to the Editor

Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham: Why should we get rid of the state fire fee?

The state fire fee has been used for prevention projects, but cannot be used for suppression efforts such as those seen in this file photo from the 2017 Alamo Fire east of Santa Maria.
The state fire fee has been used for prevention projects, but cannot be used for suppression efforts such as those seen in this file photo from the 2017 Alamo Fire east of Santa Maria. ldickinson@thetribunenews.com

Do you have a question or concern about a public facility or about a government policy or procedure? If so, email us at letters@thetribunenews.com, and we’ll try to get you an answer.

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Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham recently sent his constituents a large, glossy flier paid for by taxpayers, decrying California taxes as excessive in general — so let’s get rid of the fire tax.

The responsible action would be to explain why this tax revenue is not necessary to keep us safe in the event of fires, big and small. If California needs tax revenue to protect us from fire, then a progressive tax is needed.

Does fire safety in California require the extra revenue the fire tax provides?

Lori Slater, Cambria

Response from Jordan Cunningham:

The fire tax was both unconstitutional and unfair, and I am proud to have worked hard to repeal it. While in effect, the tax subjected many of our rural residents to a special fee that supposedly went toward fire prevention services. In short, the revenue generated from the fire tax has not focused on fire suppression, nor has it resulted in the creation of new fire services.

cunningham
Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham David Middlecamp dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Therefore, the repeal of the fire tax will not result in the reduction of services for our residents. Instead, they will no longer be obligated to pay an unfair fee that was never used in the appropriate manner. In talking to folks in our community over the last year, there is no doubt the fire tax was viewed as unjust. It will not be missed.

Public safety is the primary function of government and it will always be my highest priority. But this was an unfair tax that placed a financial burden on our rural residents. The new funding structure will alleviate this burden by prioritizing the needs of our firefighters.

Do you have a question or concern about a public facility or about a government policy or procedure? If so, email us at letters@thetribunenews.com, and we’ll try to get you an answer.

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