Senator Ted Gaines’ Second “Fire Tax” Bill Dies in Committee

Sacramento, CA…Senator Ted Gaines’ (R-Rocklin) second bill relating to the illegal fire tax (Senate Bill 125) today failed to receive enough votes to pass out of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water.

“For the second time in two weeks, my legislation attempting to ‘make right’ the very wrong fire tax has failed in Committee,” said Senator Gaines. “Constituents from across the state have voiced their strong opposition to this fire tax and it’s incredibly unfortunate that the legislature has not responded appropriately to their pleas.”

Senate Bill 125 would have exempted a property owner of a structure that is located both within a “State Responsibility Area” (SRA) as designated by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), and within the boundaries of a local fire protection district from having to pay the $150 tax.

While the bill conjured significant discussion among the Committee members, it wasn’t enough to compel them to pass the legislation. Members did, however, express interest in continuing the dialogue and exploring future options for addressing concerns with the fire fee and its myriad related issues.

“I will not give up the fight and vow to continue efforts to ensure this ridiculous fire tax is overturned,” said Senator Gaines. “I support the two fire tax repeal bills on the Assembly side that have made their way out of Committee and hope they find a better fate than my legislative efforts.”

Assembly Bill 23 by Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-Twin Peaks) and Assembly Bill 124 by Assemblyman Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga), seeking to overturn the $150 tax, passed out of the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources this week. Both pieces of legislation will now head to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.

Senator Gaines also strongly supports the lawsuit filed last month against the state by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association challenging the fee on constitutional grounds.

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.