Almost overlooked the obvious

lilosophieSeptember 20, 2012

It's not a tax, it's a fee - so the State declares. I shall be billed $150.00 per year because I live in an area vulnerable to wild-fires and they are expensive and difficult to fight.

Of course, I immediately found a lot of reasons I should be exempt from that, I live right off the highway and on a paved road and the nerve they have to include me with the outback-dwellers. So I was grumbling and feeling taken advantage of.

Whoa! Sometimes not wanting to pay something will distort all reasoning - it was not so long ago I had packed a "escape bag" of valuables and documents, had cat-carriers ready and Joann and I were discussing the logistics of trying to save as much as we could - the fire stopped one short mile from here, a friend was battling to save her ranch.

So maybe am not as exempt as I imagined to be. Still don't like to pay the fee, but the State is broke. Don't like the timing, around the time when the property taxes are due and the Holiday season is beginning, but I'll pay up.

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kathyjane(z6VA)

Wise words, Lilo.
Eat hamburger for Christmas and give each other things you already have----and be grateful
----and tell each other AND your animals you love them dearly!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 5:48PM
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west_gardener

Lilo, this topic makes me nuts. From what I understand is that' they' say you are in a fire zone, but I'm not, so I may have a different perspctive.
'the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, a taxpayer advocacy organization, has promised to file suit against the fee as soon as some of the first protests are filed'.
The Jarvis associate, is the prop 13 people.
See the link below.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/California-fire-fee-likely-to-kindle-ire-3777487.php#ixzz273S599G6

Here is a link that might be useful: Fire Prevention/tax/fee.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 7:49PM
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mawheel

Lilo, you wrote the fee is imposed only on those who live in an area vulnerable to fires? Our county in WV--not the whole state that I'm aware of--has a fire tax of $50 a year for everybody, plus a $35 emergency services fee. Something like that sounds more equitable to me than imposing a fee only on those who live in a given area. Of course, we don't have forest fires, either. (Thank goodness!)

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 8:17PM
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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

My county's fire dept is supported by volunteers and fund-raisers. Three or four times a year, major intersections will have firemen on each corner, each holding out an empty boot -- between those boots, bingo, dinners and other donations somehow enough money is collected for us to have 12 top-notch departments staffed with well-trained volunteers and quite up-to-date equipment. OTOH, there are only 12 depts for a population of about 1 million, scattered over 640+/- square miles. I always carry a check made out to them so that when the boot is held out, I can donate. It just occurred to me that those checks come to about $200 a year, which is rather more than your fee. Maybe we are willing to give more when it's called a donation instead of yet another tax!

No matter, I think they are worth every dollar.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 1:38PM
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lilosophie

It is a service fee state-wide in fire-danger areas. Communities having a professional fire-department get a reduction in the fee, unfortunately, we have a top-notch volunteer fire department, which fights fires right alongside CAlFire, but they don't qualify us for the discount.
I Googled the website, seems the fee was to be collected August 1, but was challenged by the anti-tax groups.
I don't want to get political and I really have no problem with paying it, after all,, last June we almost had to get outta here, fire came within a mile, I am quite aware of the danger.
We do support out Volunteers, who in addition to fighting fires provide Ambulance and First Responder service.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 3:38PM
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petaloid(SoCal 10a/24)

Like mwheel said, we all pay the same tax here, no matter the degree of fire danger.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 10:23PM
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