State Budget Fire Fees

Jun 30, 2011 7:38 PM

Magalia resident Rudy Bastardo says, "This system is corrupt. I think our government really doesn't care what the people want and need." Harold Datelaan, Magalia resident says, "I can't just say I want another $150 in my budget. I do with what we have."

North state residents living outside city limits, are upset with the governments new fee for state fire protection. They believe it should be covered by the taxes they already pay. And Republican lawmakers agree. Assemblyman Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) says, "It's just another disgusting example of backdoor government that has gone wild in Sacramento California."

The new fee was included in the state budget passed late Tuesday night. Democrats say the fees pay for services and can be passed with a simple majority vote. But Assemblyman Nielsen says they are 'taxes in disguise' ... that require a two-thirds majority vote.. "It was slipped into the budget in the dark of night. With no public hearing. No votes of legislature to put it in.."

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection would benefit from the additional income, which would be paid by property owners who live outside city limits.. In addition to the existing taxes they pay annually. And Cal Fire representatives say this new funding source is essential, to continue providing service to the 3 million acres across California covered by Cal Fire.

Cal Fire State Information Officer Daniel Berlant says, "Having a stable funding source is going to secure the ability to continue to respond to emergencies like we always have."

And many agree that paying an extra $150 a year is worth it, to ensure their home will be protected. Magalia resident Michael Roebuck says, "For the protection and service they offer, $125-$150 a year is worth it to me."


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