Runner seeks relief for fire victims
George Runner Oct. 14 announced he will continue to seek relief from California’s “Fire Prevention Fee” for residents who find themselves the victim of a natural disaster.
In his response to Runner’s letter Cal Fire Director Ken Pimlott stated, “the Fire Prevention Fee statute, as written, provides no authority for Cal Fire to waive fees due to the loss of structures from natural disasters of any kind, nor authority to provide refunds for victims under these circumstances.”
“I am disappointed Cal Fire declined my request to halt billing to fire victims. At a time like this, taxes are the last thing they should be worrying about,” said Runner. “That’s why I’m asking local legislators to introduce urgency legislation to waive fees and provide refunds for fire victims who have lost their homes.”
Runner also sent a letter informing his constituents of his plan and of the limited relief options currently available.
Victims of natural disasters may request additional time to pay their bills. They may also request relief of penalties and interest under certain circumstances. These options are available online at boe.ca.gov/elecsrv/erelief or by calling 1-800-400-7115.
Runner noted that these individuals may also wish to file an appeal within 30 days of the bill date to protect their standing for a possible refund in the event the courts rule this fee unconstitutional.
Elected in November 2010, George Runner represents more than nine million Californians as a member of the State Board of Equalization. Runner keeps taxpayers informed of the latest fire tax news and information at www.calfirefee.com.