Letters to the Editor

Fire fee is an illegal tax

The Feb. 19 article regarding the Rural Fire Fee (tax) mentioned how Sacramento is worried about the money being improperly spent, but it didn’t bring up the most important points:

1. The fee is double taxation for some properties.

2. The state does not have jurisdiction over some areas.

3. The fees were based on outdated information.

I own a residence in Los Osos and received a bill for this “fee.” I paid the bill and sent a protest letter to the state because it based its jurisdiction on data collected in the early 1990s, which is now outdated.

In 1999, we formed a Community Services District that has primary responsibility for fire protection. This is funded through a special assessment on our property tax bills.

Our property is within a residential section and is protected by Cal Fire under the fees we already pay, but the state has determined I have to pay the additional fee (tax) anyway.

There are more than 800,000 properties affected in California.

This fee is an illegal tax under Proposition 13, and requires a Proposition 218 vote to be legal.

I urge your support of Sen. Ted Gaines’ efforts (SB 17) to repeal this tax:  http://firetaxprotest.org.