Politics and Community

Politics and Community

Here you will find a broad range of news articles with a focus on community and political content.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fire prevention fee, or illegal tax?

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Update on this story:

According to KMUD News Coordinator. Cynthia Elkins:

"Humboldt County residents started getting bills for the new state fire protection fee last week, just as a group is preparing to challenge the fee in state court.  The fire protection fees were passed in the face of budget cuts to fire protection services.  The bills are being sent out in alphabetical order by county, meaning folks in Alameda County received their’s first.  The fee goes to about 825-thousand residents in the state.  Jim Little is Chief of the Long Valley Fire Protection District and is concerned about the fee.  He says he has two main concerns, saying his first (concern) is that the legislature did not consider the impact the fee would have on local fire districts like his."

Use the player below to hear the interview with Jim Little, Chief of the Long Valley Fire Protection District, and Tim Bittle, an attorney with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association, which aired on KMUD Local News on Sept. 17, 2012, Cynthia Elkins reporting:


Original Post:

Briceland Fire Chief Tim Olsen was a guest on Monday Morning Magazine on September 17 (from 8 to 8:30), and one of the topics of discussion was the so-called State Responsibility Area (SRA) Fire Prevention Benefit Fee.

cdftruckThe State Responsibility Area (SRA) Fire Prevention Benefit Fee was enacted following the signing of Assembly Bill X1 29 in July 2011. The law approved the new annual Fire Prevention Fee to pay for fire prevention services within the SRA. The fee is applied to all habitable structures within the SRA.

The fee is levied at the rate of $150 per habitable structure, which is defined as a building that can be occupied for residential use. Owners of habitable structures who are also within the boundaries of a local fire protection agency will receive a reduction of $35 per habitable structure.

This fee will fund a variety of important fire prevention services within the SRA including brush clearance and activities to improve forest health so the forest can better withstand wildfire.

The information above comes from the California government website http://www.firepreventionfee.org/ where you can also find a petition for redetermination.

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association believes the new Fire Prevention Fee is really a tax that needed (but did not receive) two-thirds legislative approval.  The Association will be filing suit to challenge the fee and seek refunds for people who have filed a Petition for Redetermination. The HJTA hosts a website with information about this issue, including a petition to repeal it. Follow this link to http://firetaxprotest.org. The direct link to the petition is http://firetaxprotest.org/?page_id=13.

You can listen to Dennis Huber and Tim Olsen's discussion by going to the KMUD Audio Archive and look for Monday Morning Magazine, September 17, 2012.



According to a story that aired on KMUD Local News for Thurs., Sept. 13:
"Cinnamon O’Neill Paula is a motivated parent, she has 4 boys, one at South Fork High School and 3 attending Leggett.  She’s worked hard to raise money for the schools through PTA and organized to save school bus funding, now she’s hoping more parents will get involved to save what’s left of rural school funding."

Use the player below to hear Terri Klemetson's (KMUD News Cordinator)  interview with Cinnamon O’Neill Paula.

Click here to view Propostion 30

Click here to view Proposition 38

Related links:


The old cliché, "When life gives you lemons...make lemonade!" was brought to life last Friday at the Garberville Farmers' Market when students from Redway Elementary School set up a lemonade stand at the Farmers’ Market in Garberville to raise money for their school.
The last three years of California education budget cuts have hit schools hard. Governor Brown has proposed another series of "trigger cuts" if the Tax Initiative, California Proposition 30, doesn't get the votes required to pass this November. Locally, there have been efforts by parents and community members to raise money for school programs and recently students from Redway Elementary School have gotten involved.

News Coordinator, Terri Klemetson, aired this news piece on the August 10, 2012 edition of the KMUD local news. Use the player below to hear the story.



Use the links below to get more Information about the November Tax Initiative:                    

According to a Press Release from the California Farm Bureau Federation, dated July 23, 2012:
Saying that a highway project has turned into a farmland-conversion project instead, the California Farm Bureau Federation filed documents requesting that state and federal agencies review and reduce the impact on agricultural land. The case involves a planned Highway 101 bypass around the city of Willits.

Acting in federal court in San Francisco, CFBF filed a motion to join in an existing lawsuit that challenges environmental review of the Willits Bypass Project; defendants include the Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the California Department of Transportation.

In its motion, Farm Bureau notes that the bypass originally would have affected 150 acres of farmland. But now, more than 2,000 acres of land will be affected-with at least 400 acres removed permanently from agricultural use-as government agencies seek agricultural land to mitigate for wetlands affected by the bypass.

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