Dozens of people wearing bright red shirts that read "Burned by Fire Fee" showed up at a Senate committee hearing to show their support for the legislation that died.
The fee, passed by the California legislature in 2011, is assessed on rural property owners. But supporters of repealing the fee say it is nothing more than a tax. Republican Senator Ted Gaines authored the bill.
Gaines: "The monies collected can be spent on a variety of activities that do not benefit the fee payers or cover costs specifically related to special services received by the payers. That makes this a tax and should have been subject to a two-thirds vote."
The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association has sued the state, arguing that the fee is an unconstitutional tax.
Some lawmakers on the committee say the courts should decide on the lawsuit before any further legislative action.