A bill to repeal the Fire Tax has passed its first committee. Assembly Bill 1506 was approved by the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources with strong bipartisan support.
Assembly Bill 1506, co sponsored by Senator Doug LaMalfa will repeal the State Responsibility Area fire prevention fee (aka the Fire Tax) that was passed last year as part of the majority party budget. In January the state Board of Forestry and Fire Protection enacted regulations for the collection of $150 for each “habitable structure” on a property owner’s land. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association announced that it would sue to stop the implementation of this fee because they believe it violates the California Constitution as an illegally-enacted tax. Senator LaMalfa says the bill enacting the Fire Tax was passed without the required two-thirds vote for new taxes and fees.
“It won’t stand up to constitutional muster and I think that’s part of the reason why it’s taking so long for them to even issue a bill to anybody to tack onto their property taxes. So we thing the straightforward way to do this would be to repeal that measure and not have anybody go through law suits.”
AB 1506 will have its next hearing before the Assembly Appropriations Committee in April.