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Anti-Tax Group Sues Over Fire Prevention Fee

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, October 4, 2012

The lawsuit claims that the $150 fee charged to more than 800,000 rural property owners is an illegal tax.

And under Proposition 13, any tax requires a two-thirds majority vote in the legislature.

Jon Coupal with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association says the suit seeks to overturn the fee and make property owners eligible for refunds.

COUPAL: "If the state is going to pursue a knowingly illegal revenue source it would be unjust enrichment for them to be able to keep a single cent of that."

CalFire's Daniel Berlant says he hasn't seen the lawsuit but stressed the importance of the fee.

BERLANT: "It's an unfortunate attempt to obstruct what really is much needed funding for our fire prevention services."

If the suit is successful, property owners must first pay the fee then file a protest in order to be eligible for a refund.

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