Mono state senator wants repeal of fire fee

According to Capitol Television News Service, Mono County’s State Senator Ted Gaines wants voters to overturn a recently passed law requiring rural residents to pay a new fire fee.  The measure signed calfirefightersby Governor Brown calls for charging homeowners in unincorporated areas of the state serviced by Cal Fire as much as $150 per year for state fire prevention services.

The fire fee bill was part of the budget package and passed with only Democratic support.  The new fee would apply to about 850,000 state residents with homes outside city boundaries or federally protected areas.  Most are in areas with Republican representatives in Sacramento. Senator Gaines, who is attempting to put a referendum on the June ballot to overturn the fees, says it forces many rural residents to pay twice for the same service.

Senator Gaines said, “Counties negotiate with Cal Fire for fire services within their county.  Those individuals or taxpayers,” said Gaines, “are paying into the treasury and the counties that are helping fund those contracts.”  Gaines said to come back and ask for another $150 tax is really “a form of double taxation.”

Gaines needs to get half a million signatures in the next 100 days to qualify the referendum that would overturn the fire fee for the June election.  He says the California Republican Party and fellow Republican lawmakers have already committed to helping him gather signatures.

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association has also threatened to take the fee to court saying it’s a form of taxation and therefore needs a two-thirds vote in both houses of the legislature to become law.


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22 Responses to Mono state senator wants repeal of fire fee

  1. upthecreek July 24, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

    Hey …suck it up and pay your fair share.. We all need to help out with our local firefighters pension fund..

  2. Up the Creek's Clone July 24, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    The fee is to pay for Cal Fire’s pensions.

  3. JaneE July 25, 2011 at 11:58 am #

    What is the actual cost of defending homes in rural fire areas? Divide that number by the number of homes to find your share of the cost. Compare that number to $150/year. I would expect that the actual cost is far more than $150. If not for homes in some areas, the fires would be left to burn out naturally – the Lion fire for example – and the cost would be far less. Taxes have been lowered continually for the last 30 years at least, so now there isn’t enough “fat” in the system to support high cost/low benefit services like fire protection for a few out of the way homes without some extra dedicated income. This is the fee-for-service model that has been applied to other non-essential services for years. Now it has become necessary for essential services as well. Welcome to the modern world.

    • upthecreek July 25, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

      @ Jane e
      “Taxes have been lowered continually for the last 30 years at least, so now there isn’t enough “fat” in the system to support high cost/low benefit services like fire protection”

      “lowered” What planet do you live on??

      The problem is just the oposite Benefits have been raised for the last 30 years
      not enough revenue to support the Beast

      • Ken Warner July 25, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

        JaneE lives on this planet with most of the rest of us. Since there isn’t a planet wide income tax, I only checked the income tax rate history for the U.S. back to 1913.

        Turns out she’s right.

        For example: In 2011 the highest tax rate is 35% for income over $379,150.

        In 1981 (30 years ago) the highest tax rate was 70% for income over $215,000.

        That looks like a reduction over the last 30 years to me.

        But check it out for yourself.

        • Bob Loblaw July 25, 2011 at 10:20 pm #

          Great link. Depressing that taxes have dropped so dramatically for the wealthy, and so little for the middle class. So much for workin’ stiffs.

  4. Bob Loblaw July 25, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    I hardly think 850,000 homes qualifies as a few… I would however be interested to know if this applies to areas locally such as Chalfant, Wilkerson, White Mountain Estates, etc. Any word on that Sierra Wave News Staff?

    • Bob Todd July 25, 2011 at 6:07 pm #

      Earlier this month, Bishop Fire Chief Ray Seguine said local officials weren’t sure how this would pan out in the Eastern Sierra until they saw more information from the state.

  5. Rob July 25, 2011 at 3:49 pm #

    No JaneE that’s not how the math works. For those of us who go above and beyond with brush clearance it doesn’t cost Cal-Fire anything to protect our homes.

    All you sheeple that feel the need to be protected by big brother need to move back to the city.

    • Bob Loblaw July 25, 2011 at 10:12 pm #

      Spoken like the kind of dude who’s never seen a flaming tumbleweed hurled 200 feet or so by an angry spring wind.

      • Rob July 26, 2011 at 8:43 am #

        You could throw flaming tumbleweeds at my home all day long and it would be just find. I’m not about to rely on the fire department to save my home.

        Hope the F.D. is there for you when you need them to save your house.

        I suggest you pay the fee and quit complaining about it.

        • Bob Loblaw July 28, 2011 at 6:38 pm #

          Unless your house is a cave, your home is likely flammable. And unless you own a fire truck, the ole garden hose won’t always do the trick.

          • Rob July 29, 2011 at 9:08 am #

            Howdy Bob Loblaw – I built my home with my own hands with brush fires my #1 concern. I’ll just say you couldnt start the outside of my house on fire if you had flame thrower.

            If my home burns down it will be from the inside out. And I’m in such a remote area it will burn to the ground before the 1st first repsonder arrives.

            It just didn’t make sense to rely on someone else to protect my property from brush fire.

  6. DownTheCreek July 25, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

    UpTheCreek is bitter because he doesn’t have a pension plan. Maybe he should have chosen a different career path that would have resulted in a pension plan and he would be happy now instead of always cutting down those that have a pension plan. If you can’t be up at their level, bring em down to yours. UpTheCreek needs a paddle (or pension plan).

    • Rob July 29, 2011 at 9:13 am #

      UpTheCreek isn’t the only person concerned about cost of pensions. It’s in every level of the news every day. No reason to single out UpTheCreek.

      Gotta love the retired firemen who recieve pensions then have non-licensed drywall and concrete businesses on the side that compete again hard working licensed contractors. I really wish the contractor state lic board would come down hard on these guys.

  7. o2lvnmmth July 25, 2011 at 6:24 pm #

    I’m very disappointed in this article and expect more from Sierra Wave. this article would be just as informative without the inflammatory mention of democrats and republicans….the fact is the State passed this measure and it affects all people equally, regardless of political persuasions.

    You make it sound as if it only applies to Republicans! Really, none of that added to the article…what were you thinking?

    • Bob Loblaw July 25, 2011 at 10:11 pm #

      O2lvnmmth, I don’t see how you missed the importance of who voted for and against this measure. If you are a Republican, and are opposed to this tax, you should be glad your Representatives are on the same side of the issue as you are. If you’re a Republican who supports this tax, then you should call your Rep and complain. VIce-versa if you’re a Democrat. In an age of increasingly “Black and White” behavior from our elected representatives, Just for a change of pace perhaps it’s time we all push for a little more gray area, and demand that our reps don’t strictly vote on party lines (Like happened on this issue for example).

  8. Up the Creek's Clone July 25, 2011 at 7:37 pm #

    Hey, I was making a joke. (satire) Whats with all the negitivity?

    • harry July 29, 2011 at 9:28 am #

      I guess most readers didn’t think it funny.

  9. LP July 26, 2011 at 11:13 pm #

    Brown has to make up the money somewhere for pro-homosexual education in our public schools and for the education for illegal aliens somewhere.

  10. Steve S. July 28, 2011 at 6:56 am #

    It is great to see that common sense people like Ted Gaines are out there looking out for his constitutes. That greedy proposal needs to be repealed! Those tricky Politicians. Why should these homeowners be charged twice!!!
    Who voted Brown in again anyways? Did they forget how crappy of a job he did in the seventies?
    I wish our so called Government would stop putting their hands down our pockets and get to work! They need to learn how to budget, not pick pocket. Trust me! The more they steal from us, the more they spend.


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