Legally, fees require a nexus between a service and the “customer,” where the fee is calculated based upon a direct service you received (i.e. time and materials). Fees are easier for legislators to impose, as they require a majority vote instead of the two-thirds vote required for taxes.
In 2008, the governor and the Legislature passed a fire fee on your homeowner insurance company, knowing perfectly well it wasn’t a fee — that it was a tax passed indirectly on to you through your insurance company.
Until then, fire protection activities, including fire prevention, had always been paid for by taxes, because no fee nexus could be formed. That wasn’t enough for these unscrupulous legislators, and they came back again in 2011 to steal more money from you with the latest “Fire Fee.”
Again, no nexus.
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Don’t feel bad, though; it’s for “public safety.” (That sells in California.) In reality, they will now reduce tax revenue contributions to the general fund for fire protection by their illegal proceeds and spend those tax revenues somewhere else. Next, the Democratic supermajority will eliminate the tax voting requirement, and we won’t be able to afford to live here. Oh yeah, now they want to tax us for leaving, too. Seriously!