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Residents Association of Greater Lake Mathews

RAGLM Board > In The News > Fire Fee "Extinguished"
7/31/2017 11:06:30 AM
Some fire tax Q&AReply: ElaineW
From the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

We have received several questions about AB 398 and would like to share the answers to several commonly asked questions:
I heard that the fire fee is just suspended.  Does that mean it could come back?  Under AB 398, collection of the fire fee is suspended through the year 2030.  After that, the entire fire fee Act is repealed.  It is a two-step process because the State has tens of millions of dollars of unspent fire fee revenue sitting in a reserve fund.  AB 398 keeps the fire fee Act alive so that these reserve funds will be appropriated for purposes outlined in the Act.  But yes, in theory, the “fee” (actually a tax) could be brought back at any time between now and 2030.
Does AB 398 require the State to refund past payments of the fire fee?  No.  Refunds will be paid only if HJTA prevails in its lawsuit and refunds are ordered by the Court.
Does the two-thirds vote approving AB 398 have the effect of retroactively ratifying the original fire fee?  No.  AB 398 contains no language authorizing collection of the fire fee, only suspension and repeal of the fire fee.  Moreover, AB 398 specifies that its effective date is July 1, 2017, not some retroactive date.
Does AB 398’s repeal of the fire fee make HJTA’s lawsuit moot?  No.  HJTA’s lawsuit must still be resolved by the courts because it seeks refunds for past payments of the fire fee.

7/31/2017 10:38:26 AM
Fire Fee ExtinguishedReply: cinder465

Read the link and it is certainly vague. If anyone can come up with something that proves this and tells us if any of the past taxes that we filed against will be returned?? that would be awesome. Even if we don't get the money back, at least we won't have to pay it anymore but as the article states, it is mundane since we will now be paying more gas tax.  And what about all of the property owners who refused to pay it all along? Will it still be attached to the property or will it "go away" which makes it unfair to us who pay our bills

7/31/2017 10:04:29 AM
Fire Fee Extinguished LinkReply: Nathan
Look half way down the article to the header 'Fee Extinguished'
7/31/2017 9:32:28 AM
Fire Fee ExtinguishedReply: cinder465
I pray this is true! Do you have a link to the article to share? If it true are there refunds coming to folks who filed against it and how about us that already paid this year?
7/31/2017 8:29:22 AM
Fire Prevention FeeReply: morebirds4me
Please provide the link to the article.  I am unable to locate it.
7/31/2017 8:01:34 AM
Fire Fee "Extinguished"Post: Sandy
Per an article in the Press Enterprise on July 21, 2017, the Fire Fee has been "Extinguished"!  "Money from the fee was supposed to pay for fire prevention and firefighting-related tasks.  A Cal Fire spokesman said the end of the fee won't disrupt fire prevention efforts."
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