Nevada County’s state senator is trying once again to repeal Cal Fire’s service fee through a bill he’s introduced. It’s $152 a year and was passed in 2011. Ted Gaines says his largely rural district includes roughly 20% of the properties that are assessed the fee, or 160,000 properties. He calls it double taxation, since property owners already pay local fire agencies for protection. And he says that also hurts efforts by local departments to pass assessment increases, to help cover their rising costs…
Gaines and other legislative opponents have also contended that all of the money from the fees is not dedicated to fire protection, since it goes into the state’s general fund and not a specific fund..
There is also still a lawsuit pending. The suit contends that the fee sidesteps Proposition 26, passed in 2010, that prevents the Legislature from disguising taxes as fees. Taxes also require two-thirds approval of the Legislature.
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