FIRE FEE is an illegal?
Transparency Bill Passes Senate
Sacramento, California ____ Monday
June 13, 2016, the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources approved on a
bipartisan vote Senate Bill 1136 (link is external),
authored by Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga), to require that the legislature and the public
annually receive more detailed information regarding the spending of money
generated by the controversial fire prevention fee.
“I and others continue to maintain that the fire fee is an illegal tax
that should either be repealed or overturned,” said Morrell. “However,
until that happens, property owners paying the fee should know how and where
their money is being spent. SB 1136 is about transparency and keeps the books
The fire prevention fee was
enacted by legislative Democrats in 2011 as part of the state budget and is
assessed on property owners in State Responsibility Areas (“SRAs”), which are
areas of the state where the State of California is financially responsible for
the prevention and suppression of wildfires.
Cal Fire is currently required to submit to the legislature
an annual expenditures report detailing spending of this fee revenue. SB
1136 would further direct the department to report to the legislature a
detailed description of each program, subprogram, and element for which the
department uses funds generated from the fire prevention fee, including an
itemized accounting of expenditures related to equipment and positions as well
as its budgeted expenditures for the current fiscal year. This bill also
extends the sunset date of the reporting requirement to 2021.
Earlier this legislative session, Morrell’s SB 198,
which would have repealed the fire fee, was killed by the majority party in its
first committee hearing. A class-action lawsuit
challenging the legality of the fire fee is currently working its way through
the courts, with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association leading the effort.
learn more about its status, visit www.FireTaxProtest.org(link is external).
SB 1136 passed the committee
8-0. It will next be considered by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
While Fixing Less
Senator’s Vote 2016-17 Budget
Senator Morrell sharing with friends left to right: Heather & Jay
Assemblyman Obernolte, Mary
Jo Jahn, Simeon Prophet, Senator Michael & Joanie Morrell. Photo courtesy of Millener Productions
Wednesday June 15, 2016, Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga)
today issued the following statement in response to the passage of the 2016-17
“With all the recent talk about
the need to fund our roads and highways, it is disappointing that this budget
instead prioritizes spending $1.7 billion on high-speed rail, allocating $1.3
billion for state office buildings in Sacramento, and increasing the vehicle
registration fee on Californians by $331 million to pay for more bureaucracy.
“Bottom line, the Governor and legislative Democrats have crafted the
largest state budget in the 166-years of our state, one that spends more while
fixing less, imposing $140 million in fees on Californians, like you and me, to
pay for unlimited texting and data plans and spending millions more on welfare
cash cards for drug felons.
“The Mercatus Center at George
Mason University has ranked California the 44th state for fiscal strength,
largely because of its debt. By growing government at a record pace, this
budget risks the financial future of California at the expense of taxpayers and
continues to leave a wall of debt to younger generations.”