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Residents Association of Greater Lake Mathews

RAGLM Board > In The News > Assemblyman Jeffries Fire Tax Repeal Passes First Committee
3/26/2012 9:46:04 PM
Assemblyman Jeffries Fire Tax Repeal Passes First CommitteePost: Paula Vice

Assemblyman Jeffries' Fire Tax Repeal Passes First Committee!

For Immediate Release: March 26, 2012
Jeff Greene 951-894-1232, Craig Deluz 916-319-2066

AB 1506 Receives Bi-Partisan Support from Assembly Natural Resources Committee

Sacramento:  In a vote that surprised many Capitol observers, Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries' (R-Lake Elsinore) AB 1506, a bill to repeal the "State Responsibility Area" Fee (also known as the "Rural Fire Tax"), passed with overwhelming bi-partisan support out of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee.

Passed with no committee review last summer, the State Responsibility Area Fee was criticized at the hearing today as poorly written, ineffective, inequitable, and possibly illegal by a series of witnesses from such organizations as the California State Association of Counties, the California Farm Bureau, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers' Association, and representatives of Fire Districts and Fire Departments from throughout California.

"I am very pleased with the bi-partisan coalition that supported my bill today," said Assemblyman Jeffries.  "The witnesses made a compelling case that this rural fire tax is being unfairly applied and will do nothing to improve our state's wildland fire fighting ability.  We need to scrap this tax and find a better approach to funding public safety."

Assemblyman Jeffries is the Chair of the Rural Fire Protection Working Group, and has passed several fire-related bills during his time in the Legislature.  "As a 29-year volunteer firefighter, public safety and wildland fire protection is one of my strongest priorities.  Some are concerned that repealing this tax will leave rural communities more vulnerable, but today we heard from representatives of fire departments and fire districts who expressed their concern that this double taxation on residents will provide no benefit to their communities, and may even result in a loss of fire protection, as voters refuse to re-authorize their own local fire fees and taxes, because they are under the illusion that the new state fire tax will protect them."

AB 1506 will next be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

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