Runner fire fee legislation clears Senate
SACRAMENTO – Senate Bill 1413, George Runner-sponsored legislation relating to the Fire Prevention Fee, cleared the Senate this week.
SB 1413, authored by Sen. Mark Wyland, R-Escondido, would increase the payment due date of the Fire Prevention Fee from 30 days from the date of assessment to 60 days. Due to the rural nature of those being billed, many individuals do not receive their fire fee bills in a timely manner. Additionally, many of these individuals are on fixed incomes, making it nearly impossible for them to pay their Fire Prevention Fee by the 30-day deadline.
“The confusing and controversial fire fee is tax policy at its worst,” said George Runner. “It should be eliminated entirely, but until then SB 1413 is a step in the right direction. Increasing the payment due date will help lessen the burden of this illegal tax on rural homeowners.”
Runner’s other fire fee measures were killed during their first committee hearings. These included legislation to: (1) eliminate the penalty placed on taxpayers who appeal their bill but are denied (AB 1519); (2) give taxpayers an additional level of protection by allowing them to appeal their bills to the Board of Equalization if they are denied by Cal Fire (AB 1954); and (3) ensure all taxpayers receive a refund when a tax or fee is declared illegal (AB 2510 and SB 1327).
SB 1413 received unanimous, bipartisan support in the Senate and now moves to the Assembly.
George Runner represents more than nine million Californians as a taxpayer advocate and elected member of the State Board of Equalization. For more information, www.visitboe.ca.gov/Runner or www.calfirefee.com.