Senator Gaines Introduces Bill to Repeal Fire Tax

Sacramento, CA…As his first order of business after being sworn into office yesterday, Senator Ted Gaines (R–Rocklin) introduced legislation that would repeal the fire tax. “This $150 fire tax is illegal and unfair – plain and simple,” said Gaines. “Many rural property owners already pay local fire agencies for protection so it is clearly double-taxation and it is being dumped on the backs of rural Californians when the state has 10-percent unemployment and families are struggling just to make ends meet.”

Senate Bill 17 would reverse the Governor’s and legislative Democrats’ decision to raise $84 million in taxes by charging rural property owners a “fee” for fire prevention services as part of the 2011-12 budget. These communities are located in “State Responsibility Areas” (SRA) designated by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), even though their property taxes already contribute to the service contracts that counties have with CAL FIRE.

This tax has been imposed on the owners of more than 800,000 properties in the state. According to census and CAL FIRE data, Senator Gaines’ largely rural district includes nearly 25 percent or approximately 200,000 of the properties whose owners are subject to the fee.

Senator Gaines has been a chief critic of the fire “fee” since its inception, leading a referendum attempting to overturn the tax and co-authoring legislation last session to see it reversed. He also strongly supports the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association’s class action lawsuit to overturn the fire fee.

Gaines contends that the fire tax attempts to sidestep Proposition 26, which prevents the Legislature from disguising taxes as “fees” and circumventing constitutional requirements for passing higher taxes.

“I vow to fight this in every way possible and encourage everyone who has gotten stuck paying this phony fee to get in the arena and fight it too,” said Gaines. “The answer to fire protection in California is not illegal taxes, but budgets that invest in core government services that protect every citizen in the state – rural, urban and suburban.”

Senator Ted Gaines represents the 1st Senate District, which includes all or parts of Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra and Siskiyou counties.

117 Responses to "Senator Gaines Introduces Bill to Repeal Fire Tax"

  1. s duvet   December 6, 2012, 2:27 pm at 2:27 pm

    Thank you Senator Gaines for being in our court and trying to reverse this unfair fire fee, I hope you are successful!

  2. Pingback: Fire Tax Protest - News: Senator Gaines Introduces Bill to Repeal Fire Tax

  3. Nancy Hildebrand   December 6, 2012, 2:45 pm at 2:45 pm

    Senator Gaines THANK YOU for being against the continued Ridiculous Regulations in our state.

    If only there were more men and women of integrity like yourself in government.

  4. Mike K   December 6, 2012, 2:49 pm at 2:49 pm

    Thank you. What can we do over in Sonoma County to help get it past?

  5. Francois Koutchouk   December 6, 2012, 2:53 pm at 2:53 pm

    Please do not “politicize” the bill. The fee is unfair — forest fires do start in, well, the forest but don’t stop at city limits. Why not assess a “police fee” on resident of Oakland along the same logic? As a homeowner I am not opposed to paying our for what is possibly the best and bravest fire service in the country — I just want every CA resident to pay its share.

  6. hart beeks   December 6, 2012, 2:54 pm at 2:54 pm

    senator ted gaines – a good start, we will follow your action.
    how does your bill interact with the howard jarvis taxpayers association petition for redetermination of the fire tax ?

  7. Gordon Wollesen   December 6, 2012, 2:54 pm at 2:54 pm

    Than You Senator Gaines! I retired from CDF (Now CALFIRE) after 30 years of duty. When I read the term “Fire Prevention FEE” I said “What is going on”? Fire Prevention is a regular part of CalFires every day operation. I did a lot of Fire Prevention work while workiing for CalFire. Under the current water shortage and “Extra Heavy” fuel load, FIRE FIGHTING should be and is the number 1 priority. With Clintons ban on logging, the timber land is a true and nearly impossible place to fight fire. When I started with CalFire in 1957, A fire in the managed timber area was easy to fight. We could drive our Fire Trucks through the timber with little trouble. Easy to fight fire! Now it impossible to take an Engine into the timber land. All walking and Bull Dozer operations. Oops, I forgot Air Tankers and Helicopters.

    Whoever wrote the bill did not KNOW anything about CalFires mission. Oh yes, the word FEE is three (3) letters and so is the word TAX. I thought that the voters passed a NO USE OF THE WORD FEE. It is a TAX!

    Keep plugging Senator. I know what the SRA is. I know that I reside in a Fire Protection District. All Californians pay taxes to support the operations of CalFire.

  8. k   December 6, 2012, 2:55 pm at 2:55 pm

    Thanks for the help – this FEE (TAX Really) Stinks…..period!

  9. John   December 6, 2012, 2:58 pm at 2:58 pm

    Great news to know someone in Sacramento is willing to fight against the incoming tide of property taxes disguised as user fees. I don’t mind paying for Calfire needs as long as it truly spends the money wisely which I doubt will happen in this case. Thank you Senator Gains for responding to our wishes.

  10. Dave S   December 6, 2012, 3:11 pm at 3:11 pm

    Thank you Sen Gaines. I live in one of the designated SRA areas and when I saw that this tax that was voted down was reworked and reworded and then voted in by the state’s Liberals..I knew we were in for more of Brown’s budgets tricks. Please be diligent and between you and th Howard Jarvis team maybe this “double taxation” fee can be repealed!

  11. Phil   December 6, 2012, 3:16 pm at 3:16 pm

    Well…….I sent my “protest” form in after I sent the check which also had “under protest” in the memo line. OF course they’ve cashed it now. When this “bill” came to me I was down to $27 in our checking account for the month’s bills, so after calling them they sent me a bunch of other forms to fill out to go monthly and wanted all my tax returns, blood type and just about everything you could think of. Of course NO waiver or means of getting out of paying this,etc. Thanks Senator Gaines…..I certainly need my $115 back, especially now with Christmas coming up.

  12. Steven Herron   December 6, 2012, 3:21 pm at 3:21 pm

    Thank you Senator Gaines. Thanks for helping right the rip-off!

  13. Lee Jordan   December 6, 2012, 3:21 pm at 3:21 pm

    I want a rebate

  14. Tom   December 6, 2012, 3:25 pm at 3:25 pm

    Thank you…now follow through. Our State Government has and will use every opportunity to squeeze money out of our people, they need to stop now.

  15. BLAKE GREEN   December 6, 2012, 3:36 pm at 3:36 pm


  16. s   December 6, 2012, 3:36 pm at 3:36 pm

    Great! When might we know if this is successful? I just received several bills. The protest forms need mailed 3 places.

    On another sad note: has information about requireing plans and “FEES” for overseeing agricultural operations, which will be including dryland pasture, Those cows, and the few sheep the coyotes, “animals of the state,” have not killed, that are grazing the hills. It will include road sediment plans. It seems another business attack as it appears that only roads connected with a business will be required to have a road sediment plan. But a long road to a house that has erosion is not covered. California seems really determined to destroy itself.

  17. stanley Hamrick   December 6, 2012, 3:43 pm at 3:43 pm

    Thank God someone in Sacramento is thinking about the people who support this state.

  18. STEPHEN JOHNSON   December 6, 2012, 3:43 pm at 3:43 pm


  19. Al Thorpe   December 6, 2012, 3:49 pm at 3:49 pm

    I don’t live in your district, but have to commend you for your action against the “Fire Fee”. I live in Mariposa County and was very active as a federal employee in Wildland Fire Suppression from 1966-1995. I as well as other experienced retirees understand the absolute stupidity of this fee and feel the financial pain of it’s implementation. Good Work!!!!

  20. Bob Moore   December 6, 2012, 3:55 pm at 3:55 pm

    “Fee”? The return envelope included with the bill is addressed to: “Special Taxes Remittance Processing”, Sacramento. More power to Sen. Gaines and all of us fighing this illegal taxation.

  21. Barry Fowler   December 6, 2012, 4:04 pm at 4:04 pm

    Thank you, Mr. Gaines for pursuing this illegal tax.

    The ultimate irony of this situation is when I sent my payment (under protest) the envelope to the State Board of Equalization that the payment was sent to was indicated “Special Taxes Remittance Processing”.

    That in itself confirms that this is a “tax” and not a fee.

    • Larry   December 6, 2012, 4:20 pm at 4:20 pm

      Thank you Sen. Gaines for supporting the thousands of us who put our life savings into property that we were led to believe had a fixed maximum annual property tax increase of 1% per year. If the liberals are allowed to circumvent the current law by calling their increase a fee….and not a tax, which it is, then they could eventually start taxing anyone in California living within 20 miles of our sea shore a tax due to possible flooding in a wet year.
      All they’re doing is finding every way possible to raise revenue to spend to support their lavish spending habits.

  22. Marcus Mueller   December 6, 2012, 4:15 pm at 4:15 pm

    Thank you California Voters for electing Gov. Brown . An other fine mess you got us into!

  23. Jerry Rogers   December 6, 2012, 4:19 pm at 4:19 pm

    Good Job Senator Gaines. I hope the Kern Co. Senator is on the same page if not we need to yurn the page on them.

  24. Curtis Clark   December 6, 2012, 4:26 pm at 4:26 pm

    Thanks for introducing this bill. I have already signed and sent in my petition (Jarvis) against this illegally imposed “fee” tax; as well as sent off a letter to our local Representative, Katcho Achadjian. I only hope our Senator Sam Blakeslee feels the same way and supports this bill as well. If this fee is upheld, we might as well flush prop 13 down the drain…along with our ballots…..And yes, I was around the last time “Moonbeam” was in office, and yes I saw my residential property taxes double in seven years prior to the taxpayer revolt and prop 13’s implementation. It’s too bad that my generation of voter is beginning to dwindle, but at least there’s still some of us that aren’t quite ready to roll over, belly up! Besides that, I’m already paying for fire protection on the state and local level.

  25. Shane Fogel   December 6, 2012, 4:33 pm at 4:33 pm

    Thank you, Senator Gains for, representing we the tax payers on this truly unfair tax,majority of us pay our local Fire Dept’s through our property taxs yearly for services

  26. Jim Paclik   December 6, 2012, 4:33 pm at 4:33 pm

    Senator Gaines,
    Thank you for your continued opposition to this illegal fee. I heard today that CalFire is meeting to extend this “TAX”. I can’t believe they are so “in our face” with this end around the law.

  27. Brad   December 6, 2012, 4:34 pm at 4:34 pm

    There are often times I find myself on the opposite side of the perverbial court than Senator Gaines, but I’m clearly with him on this one. Thank you Sen. Gaines. However, its not a lack of properly investing in core government programs that caused this problem, as Sen. Gaines contends, it’s because the legislature stole money from Cal Fire to put to budgets elsewhere, hoping the public would go along with supporting Cal Fires now budget deficit. It’s funny, if this “fee” was done on the up and up and it was explained to us what the issue was and there’d be a transparent process, I’d probably been okay paying it.

  28. Jim S. in Alpine   December 6, 2012, 5:09 pm at 5:09 pm

    Thanks Sen. Gaines. Finally another public servant besides
    Dianne Jacob in SD who is the voice of reason. BTW,
    anyone ever done the math on this fee? 800,000 taxed homeowners X a minimum of $115 = $92,000,000. If
    everyone paid the max, it would be $120,000,000. If they are trying to raise $84,000,000 what will they do with the balance?

  29. Mary S   December 6, 2012, 5:39 pm at 5:39 pm

    Thank you for what you are doing. This is so unfair to those of us who work so hard to have a home in the mountains and I feel, to be penalized for being able to have such a place to enjoy then to get taxed again to take and take more money from us? Where will it end!

  30. Paul Hattam   December 6, 2012, 5:57 pm at 5:57 pm

    Thank you Senator Gaines! I live in Lake County. How can I help?

  31. Robert m   December 6, 2012, 6:03 pm at 6:03 pm

    So if there is a fire do I wave my cancelled check at it for protection?

  32. Eduardo Vallejo   December 6, 2012, 6:06 pm at 6:06 pm

    Thank you for trying to save homeowners of unfair taxes.

  33. jim dixon   December 6, 2012, 6:30 pm at 6:30 pm

    Doesn’t matter anymore. Moot subject. Since the State Legislature has become a Democratic majority capable of unfettered tax hikes on the electorate, THEY, not us, will rescind the “fee” and just call it a tax from now on. Probably at twice the money. WAKE UP CALIFORNIA!!

  34. Ben S   December 6, 2012, 6:44 pm at 6:44 pm

    Thank you Senator Gaines for trying to get rid of this new taxation called firefee,to me it is illegal tax.

  35. Anita McGee   December 6, 2012, 6:44 pm at 6:44 pm

    I am glad that that senator Ted Gaines is working on to get ting this phony fee. That the rural community is forced to pay. Thank you. Anita:)

  36. SierraFoothillDweller   December 6, 2012, 7:33 pm at 7:33 pm

    It is so refreshing to find a Senator actually representing individuals instead of vague, anonymous entities pretending to matter. People matter. Thank you so much, your service is appreciated.

  37. Paul Seibert   December 6, 2012, 7:40 pm at 7:40 pm

    This “fire prevention fee” is also being imposed without regard to a subject property’s actual need for state fire protection. Our property is subject to the fee, but is in a newer subdivision that is at essentially no risk of wildfire. It looks like the “fire prevention fee” boundaries have largely been drawn to maximize convenience in imposing and collecting the fee.

  38. Don C. Pejsa   December 6, 2012, 7:41 pm at 7:41 pm

    Thank you Senator Gaines , I can’t believe there is a gov. employee left that is not a con artist with a vendeta against the total population . I.m not a Republican ,but from now on you have my VOTE !! Thank You again ..

  39. Cathy   December 6, 2012, 7:45 pm at 7:45 pm

    Here in Rural Fresno County we have “CDF” and a ALL volunteer fire

    • Cathy   December 6, 2012, 7:51 pm at 7:51 pm


      NO EXTRA $150 FEE~

  40. Dennis H.   December 6, 2012, 8:05 pm at 8:05 pm

    Thank you Senator Gaines. This Tax is clearly a tax that is
    illegal and unfair.

  41. Jay   December 6, 2012, 8:07 pm at 8:07 pm

    Senator Gaines for Governor. I can actually breath a little easier knowing someone has the guts to do the right thing. Brown should be recalled.

  42. s mill   December 6, 2012, 8:49 pm at 8:49 pm

    Glad that the Cal Fire tax “reform” is getting “fired” up. I live in a coastal town, inside the yellow line. Here some people live just across the street from the dreaded yellow line, not in yellow area.. Also people affected that have fire hydrants adjacent to their homes.. We are already paying for our own fire service. Lived here 40 years and have never encountered a Cal Fire Truck..Return envelope for your payment..Does say SPECIAL TAX REMITTANCE. There are Yellow lines, cal fire map within yards of local fire Departments.

  43. Jerri Arganda   December 6, 2012, 9:10 pm at 9:10 pm

    Thank you to John Hamilton for sending this and I will pass on..

  44. Charlie   December 6, 2012, 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm

    If it walks, talks, and stinks like a TAX, then it is a TAX.
    Keep up the fight. It is no secret that Jerry Brown wants to get rid of prop 13, and will do anything to remove or get around it. Stealing money from the hard working rural residents of the state to pay for the reckless spending of this administration is not fair. Fact is this is an illegal TAX, no question about it.

  45. Carol Bowa   December 6, 2012, 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm

    Ted – I am so pleased that you are introducing legislation to reverse the fire tax. We have a cabin & a lot at Donner Lake & have been assessed for 2 buildings. There is a garage on one lot (built in the 50s) I have sent in a protest on both properties. We are on Cottonwood Street which is directly across the street from homeowners who have not been taxed. We must be on the borderline. There is a fire station within a mile of our property on Donner Pass Rd. The main fire station is in Truckee which is approximately 9 miles away. I am furious that they cannot see that we are being taxed on a garage & properties that are directly across the street from exempt properties. Yes indeed this is double taxation. Carol Bowa

  46. gary   December 7, 2012, 1:14 am at 1:14 am

    I hope this is not a stunt that will knowingly fail in that den of bought prostitute thieves. If not then there is one hero working in Sacramento.

  47. Stacey W   December 7, 2012, 4:39 am at 4:39 am

    I agree and support Gaines on this issue!

  48. Laurie Lindenauer   December 7, 2012, 7:16 am at 7:16 am

    Thank you Senator Gaines…..
    This new fire tax is reminiscent of the late staff proposal to charge every septic system owner a large and recurring penalty “fee”, assuming that they all pollute. Mr. Gaines was also instrumental in having that reversed.

  49. Melanie Martin   December 7, 2012, 7:55 am at 7:55 am

    Thank you, Mr. Gaines for watching out for us!

  50. Francois Koutchouk   December 7, 2012, 8:32 am at 8:32 am

    Senator Gaines needs to get some votes from his colleagues on the other spectrum of tax policies for the bill to pass. Political arguments won’t be sufficient.
    I think he needs “factual” arguments from this group, such as “some residents already pay a fire fee” or “why same fee if the property size differs” etc.

  51. Robert Gaspar   December 7, 2012, 8:36 am at 8:36 am

    Thanks for fightinh for us. This is in reality a parcel fee. Another name for a TAX. We now have one in Los Angeles County Flood Control District for Clean Water-Clean Beaches. Another $83.00 on top of what we already pay in our property tax. Parcel Fees should be required to be placed on the ballot and require a 2/3rds to pass, not a simple majority. Perhaps you want to carry the flag on Parcel Fees?
    Thanks again. RPG

  52. Dale Knabe   December 7, 2012, 8:39 am at 8:39 am

    I have sent 3 letters of protest to the addresses that Howard Jarvis provided for us,and I thank you for standing up for us.I hope the names of the ones that had anything to do with this illegal TAX are made public so we Californians can vote them out of office for good.

  53. Kathy J   December 7, 2012, 8:49 am at 8:49 am

    Thank you for your efforts to help, but no one has mentioned (that I could see) help for Southern CA. We were hit here also in Riverside County at $115 a pop! Many have already paid it becacause of the threats associated with not paying it. including myself. Are we here in So CA included in this protest and class action? Thank you

  54. Olivia   December 7, 2012, 9:01 am at 9:01 am

    Thank you for opposing this tax, double taxing is unlawful specially when most of us are struguling with this economy.

  55. ruth griffith   December 7, 2012, 10:10 am at 10:10 am

    I am one of the people that was taxed. How can people be taxed in arrears for something that our State Gov. pulled out of a hat? I ‘m not even given time to make or even arrange to make a payment.

  56. Francois Koutchouk   December 7, 2012, 10:16 am at 10:16 am

    Even better, we receive the notice of an upcoming fee, did not get the bill, then got a bill with the penalty for not paying…

  57. Joe Marek   December 7, 2012, 10:41 am at 10:41 am


  58. Tom   December 7, 2012, 10:43 am at 10:43 am

    We live in the yellow zone, our home is 1/2 mile from fire station. We are not rual have homeowner 60 feet to the North. People across the street do not pay the tax.
    All this is brown’s thugs ripping off 80,000 people. Sent in forms was told it was a waste of time and postage.

  59. Dianne Rohwer-Johnson   December 7, 2012, 11:09 am at 11:09 am

    and so we will be getting a refund with interest?????

    • Francois Koutchouk   December 7, 2012, 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm

      If you read the fine print, the refund might not even be in full, assuming the Senator wins this fight for us.

  60. selma tremblay   December 7, 2012, 11:17 am at 11:17 am

    I live next to the Oregon border,I couldn’t believe this tax,for fire protection.I pay property taxes,and a decal tax for my own Moblehome on my own property thats,2 taxes and now they want me to pay three taxes.Our local fire department. is 6 blocks away(country blocks).To protest I had to write a form in triplicate,to 3 different agencies within 30 days!.,meanwhile I was told to write the check for the tax immediately,Or be fined per day ( due Dec.26 )what great timing(,and a merry christmas to all! )This came so fast out of the blue,it feels like a fast push through, to grab the money before anyone has time to think about whats going on.

  61. Francois Koutchouk   December 7, 2012, 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm

    Folks, no matter how much you disagree, pay that tax aka fee. If you don’t two things will happen a) a fine b) a lien against your property. My fine was prompt, I suspect the lien won’t lag far behind either.

  62. Antonia Kehoe   December 7, 2012, 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm

    This a another ridiculous TAX that our wonderful STATE is adding to hard working American citizens. When is this going to stop???

  63. mona roberts   December 7, 2012, 1:00 pm at 1:00 pm

    Thank-you Senator Gaines! Please everyone remember that this tax does not cover any fire fighting equipment or brush removal. It is for education only. And if it is so important, why are only rural residents paying for it ? California would get alot more money if it were charged to all citizens, as everyone benefits from fire fighting. Jerry Brown just thought that we rural hicks wouldn’t put up a fight.

    • l.peters   December 7, 2012, 2:09 pm at 2:09 pm

      Down in East Bakersfield, there are certain neighborhoods that get Police calls a couple of times a week. Do those homeowners have to pay extra because they use this resource more than I do? No they sure don’t! As a matter of fact, there are more house fires in that neighborhood than there are in my ‘rural’ community, and yet I have to pay a fire fee? (tax) RIDICULOUS!!!!

    • Roberta Smith   December 8, 2012, 2:19 am at 2:19 am

      Only rural residents are paying for it because it is part of UN Agenda 21 which the liberals in our government are supporting. UN Agenda 21’s ultimate goal is to move all rural residents into the cities so the government can confiscate all rural properties. Google UN Agenda 21.

  64. Sue Taylor   December 7, 2012, 3:09 pm at 3:09 pm

    This is simply part of the government’s war on rural America. Like trains to nowhere taking out farmers, owls’ shutting down logging, encouraging wolves to repopulate in cattle country, and the list goes on. Bottom line, urban culture is hell bent on destroying rural culture. At some point rural America needs to stand up and fight back! And I have serious doubt all these regulations are about saving the environment. It looks a lot like a land grab. Are future generation guaranteed access to these lands after they are taken from hardworking rural Americans. You can do something right now to help a rural family fight against loosing their small business and property. Sign this petition to save Drake’s Bay Oyster Farm from an overreaching Federal Government. This action will set precedent for the taking of future private property, so sign it and PASS IT ON!:

    • Roberta Smith   December 8, 2012, 2:22 am at 2:22 am

      Sue, you are spot on. Google UN Agenda 21.

    • Laurie Lindenauer   December 13, 2012, 4:48 am at 4:48 am

      Thank you for the link – good site

  65. Paul in Auburn   December 7, 2012, 4:40 pm at 4:40 pm

    So why wait until after the election to introduce this bill? Maybe seeing how our legislature would have voted on this issue before the election would have had some affect on how people voted. And isn’t it somewhat of a moot point as the Democrats have a supermajority now and this fee can now be pushed through as a tax.

  66. Francois Koutchouk   December 7, 2012, 5:08 pm at 5:08 pm

    In my neighborhood this fee upsets Democrats and Republicans alike.

  67. Floyd L. Maxwell Jr.   December 7, 2012, 8:20 pm at 8:20 pm

    I agree it is truely double TAXATION. Thank you Senator Gains.

  68. Chris Melendez   December 8, 2012, 8:29 am at 8:29 am

    I keep hearing about this tax dealing with homes in rural areas.
    I own a home in a high density housing track which is surrounded by other high density housing tracks and a public school. I was very surprised when I got my bill.

  69. Jim Paclik   December 8, 2012, 10:05 am at 10:05 am

    Every Democrat votes for every tax increase….Vote “DEM” out.

  70. Mindy   December 8, 2012, 10:14 am at 10:14 am

    This is double taxation…good luck Senator Gaines and THANKS FOR ALL YOUR EFFORTS!

  71. Francois Koutchouk   December 8, 2012, 10:15 am at 10:15 am

    Best I understand is that the tax applies to a) unincorporated areas (i.e. your city doesn’t have an elected mayor) b) the property is in an area with lots of vegetation. So except for desert dwellers, b) applies to most of us.

    • vivian helena Aumond-Capone   December 8, 2012, 1:49 pm at 1:49 pm

      I understand that this “fee” is now annual… it was voted on.
      And this does not go to help support the fire dept.s with new fire fighting equipment.
      My guess it just goes into the general fund for more spending on useless expenses.

  72. peter reinheimer   December 8, 2012, 6:11 pm at 6:11 pm

    Thanks, Senator for your help with this illegal fee! All the best getting it through!

  73. KEBBEDE GONFA   December 8, 2012, 6:18 pm at 6:18 pm


  74. KEBBEDE GONFA   December 8, 2012, 6:28 pm at 6:28 pm


  75. bret boylan   December 8, 2012, 7:48 pm at 7:48 pm

    thank you sanator gaines i live in the so called (SRA) i have just recived my notice to pay this illegal tax ! i have like most people i have until december 20th to send these idiots there fee (TAX) five days befor christmas i also was notifed due to the economy my hours would be cut fron 40 hrs to 32hrs a week loosing 400 .00 dollars a month i have to make my mortgage payment therefore thanks to this bs fee we will not be able to afford christmas this year.

  76. Susan Bye-Walsh   December 9, 2012, 6:46 am at 6:46 am

    Time to charge a “fee” in high crime areas for the extra police costs for those areas, a “fee” for families that have kids in schools for the extra costs compared to families without children, etc.

  77. Jim Paclik   December 9, 2012, 8:42 am at 8:42 am

    I agree, have always wanted those with children to pay for their own education. This idea that eductated children benifit all of us, well that actually happened in the 1940’s through 1960’s but our education has gone into the toilet since then. More money doesn’t created smarter kids. I see very few children that look up from their texting devices…oh well, dumb them down and legalize dope…that is the best the left can come up with.

  78. Francois Koutchouk   December 9, 2012, 8:44 am at 8:44 am

    Not only is it annual, but the fee just paid was for 2012. So another bill is coming in the next few months for 2013.

  79. Jim Paclik   December 9, 2012, 8:46 am at 8:46 am

    This fee “TAX” is a way to force the urban property owners to fill up the pension and benifit packages that are running low. Time to vote DEM out.

  80. Jim Paclik   December 9, 2012, 10:06 am at 10:06 am

    Get used to these fees – taxes. The Democrats have already indicated more to come. Also Jerry Brown announced he is running for a second term. He hates Prop. 13, he wasn’t able to stop it back in the 70’s during his “Moonbeam” days. Now he has said he will do everything he can to get rid of it. Watch your property taxes go through the roof. After all, those public employee’s need to continue on the gravy train with wonderful pensions and benifit packages. We can’t afford these takers any longer. They must share the pain also.

  81. J. Patch Guglielmino   December 9, 2012, 10:21 am at 10:21 am

    We pay fire protection already and now we have this illegal bill. We are on a fixed income and can’t afford it. What can we do?????

  82. D. Engelson   December 10, 2012, 9:45 am at 9:45 am

    Rural community unit> In my opinion the courts may be the only way to repeal this tax. With the mind set of our state legislators, ‘spend it whether you have it or not’ the bill will not get out of committee, it represents another source of funds and I don’t believe they will be willing to give it up, was it not this was the group who push for this tax to begin with.

  83. hart beeks   December 10, 2012, 9:50 am at 9:50 am

    my bigger fear is prop 13 – with a super majority, holy sh–.

  84. Melinda V   December 10, 2012, 11:11 am at 11:11 am

    Thank you so much for trying to reverse this fire fee. The money will not go to CalFire to help with fire suppression, it will go to Sacramento where the governor will have more money to spend.

  85. andrew stavros   December 10, 2012, 11:21 am at 11:21 am

    Thank you for fighting this “Fire Prevention” fee scam senator Gaines. It is of course not going to prevent a single fire so we are simply being billed to support what? As we all know this bill is in blatant violation of Prop 13, Lets remind the people that have pushed this through what the law says.

  86. Sarah Webster   December 10, 2012, 11:23 am at 11:23 am

    Thank you Senator Gaines!

  87. Roger Thomas   December 10, 2012, 11:40 am at 11:40 am

    Thank you, Senator Gaines for fighting this fee…Th SRA map says my house is affected but the house 2 houses down the street isn’t . This map is wrong!!!! And doesn’t make any sense.
    I will follow this problem closely until it is resolved favorably.

  88. edward stiglitz   December 10, 2012, 1:39 pm at 1:39 pm

    its my fault carewless smokers,campers and a few fire-fighters causes this source of concerns. most of the damages are in urban areas. i dealt with CAL FIRE agents and see couragious people, but we all know the dangers. Jerry’s idea is illegal and burden those who already are strapped by higher costs. CA, should sell off the SRA’s to make up budget cuts. sounds like paying for the crime and doing time because of where i live everyone cares and share the risks. those in charge, open your eyes.

  89. hart beeks   December 10, 2012, 2:00 pm at 2:00 pm

    what is the time & sequence for things that need to happen under senate bill 17 ?

  90. Katy   December 10, 2012, 2:05 pm at 2:05 pm

    It appears that this fire fee is for “services rendered”
    i.e. pre-fire maintenance of SRA properties.

    My question is – when did these services begin and is there any proof they have even begun?
    In the foothill area above Sacramento there has been NO evidence of any such fire “prevention” clearing of any areas subject to fires.

    If this service is not being performed then wouldn’t the state be non- compliant?

  91. dave Lohmann   December 10, 2012, 4:22 pm at 4:22 pm

    Thanks senator

  92. L. Frisbee   December 10, 2012, 4:32 pm at 4:32 pm

    I wish you all the success in the world to reverse this bogus “fee”. Dress a wolf up in sheep skin and it’s still a wolf… this is a tax no matter how it’s titled and needs to be repealed. Here in Shasta County we’re already paying additional funds to CalFire on our property tax bill. If there is to be financial support to the state then EVERYONE in the state needs to be billed… not just land &/or homeowners….

  93. James Schram   December 10, 2012, 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm

    God bless you Senator Gains! You stand with the people.

  94. Dustin Brown   December 11, 2012, 12:29 am at 12:29 am

    Senator Gaines THANK YOU for being against the continued crazy taxes of our state. I feel we are in communist china with all of the new taxes that are coming up. The last thing I needed to see was a new tax bill in my mail box today.

  95. Ramiro Guzman   December 11, 2012, 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm

    Senator Gaines thank you for being against this abuse of power.My hoping is that our Senator representing our district
    do the same thing

  96. John Moore   December 11, 2012, 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm

    If the state of California or Cal Fire really wants to save some money, they will elimate the State Fire Fighters per diem and make these people stay in fire camp, and eat their meals in fire camp, just like everyone else that goes to uncontrolled wildland fires.
    In my career with the United States Forest Service for 40 + years, I can only recall about 4 times that CDF as they used to be called, and now Cal Fire, that their employees have stayed in the fire camps. The main reason being because there was not any resturants or motels with a hours driving distance..

    • Francois Koutchouk   December 11, 2012, 4:49 pm at 4:49 pm

      How much is that per diem — and how many days are paid in a year? In other words, how much could be saved by changing this policy?

  97. JANICE BENNETT   December 11, 2012, 1:45 pm at 1:45 pm

    Thank you for your efforts. It takes courage to go against the tide of those who think the “people” are a bunch of intellectual dwarfs that won’t notice a “little” additional “fee” for something we already pay for through our property taxes.

  98. R.V. Martinez   December 11, 2012, 2:21 pm at 2:21 pm

    Thank you for taking this on! This is Taxation without Representation! I live in a mountain community in San Bernardino County in Southern California…guess what I live 1mile from one Fire Station and 4 miles from the other and we are taxed for that service. Many low income Seniors in our area are stressing out unnecessarily over this “surprice tax”.

  99. Jim Paclik   December 12, 2012, 7:39 am at 7:39 am

    Francois Koutchouk commented on Senator Gaines Introduces Bill to Repeal Fire Tax.

    in response to John Moore:

    If the state of California or Cal Fire really wants to save some money, they will elimate the State Fire Fighters per diem and make these people stay in fire camp, and eat their meals in fire camp, just like everyone else that goes to uncontrolled wildland fires. In my career with the United States […]

    How much is that per diem — and how many days are paid in a year? In other words, how much could be saved by changing this policy?

    From what I have been told by a friend that was with Forest Service. The US Forest Service firefighters stay & eat at fire camp. Many sleep on the ground in sleeping bags. CDF now called CalFire are put up in motels and eat in town. I would assume the motel charges CalFire more for the room than the normal charge…just happens when the government pays the bill. I would like to know why this happens and how much is does cost us.

  100. Linda Morrison   December 12, 2012, 4:01 pm at 4:01 pm

    Thank you for the work you’ve done on the Fire Fee in Northern California! Let’s hope you are successful.

  101. hart beeks   December 12, 2012, 5:04 pm at 5:04 pm

    successful in southern ca also

  102. Mike Ketterman   December 12, 2012, 5:39 pm at 5:39 pm

    I have been told this was in the budget and people voted for the budget not this fire prevention tax. No one will tell me how it got in there to start with. Can you tell me who put it in the budget? Who thought up such a regressive unfair tax and submitted it?

    I, like a lot of people, don’t mind paying my share, but just because I live in a rural area, doesn’t mean I only benefit from being in the country. I live in a tourist area, we already pay for all the city folk getting drunk and falling in the river, or off rocks. Why does the multimillion dollar home on 50 acres pay the same dollar that some one in a shack on a tenth of an acre pay?

    What can I do to help push to get your bill passed?

  103. Francois Koutchouk   December 12, 2012, 7:00 pm at 7:00 pm

    Perhaps we could setup a “safety fee” checkpoint at the entrance of our rural areas and collect a $150 “fire education fee” from the city folks visiting?

  104. hart beeks   December 12, 2012, 7:27 pm at 7:27 pm

    what is the timeline for bill 17?
    the sequence of activities to suceed or fail ?
    a progress report would be great for those of us who are cloutless. we need to hear from you ted gaines. just like you did when you introduced the bill. we don’t mind being followers, but we need to know. thanks hart

  105. Joseph Wellhoff   December 13, 2012, 6:40 pm at 6:40 pm

    Senator Gaines Thank you very much for going to bat for us! If these and government people like them get away with this only God knows where it will end. We could get a bill every month for a multitude of self appointed causes!

  106. Pat O'Connell   December 16, 2012, 1:58 pm at 1:58 pm

    This is unjust fee that does not help the Fire Service. Neither CalFire nor local Fire Districts suppression efforts will be helped by this fee.

  107. frank simpson   December 18, 2012, 2:23 pm at 2:23 pm

    the tax is $300 per year…we will get another bill for $150 in June…my income can not support this…will need to ask the Salvation Army to help pay for it…