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Fire Protection Fee May Face Referendum

Posted on Thursday, July 21, 2011 8:28am

A Republican state Senator wants to ask voters to overturn a new fire protection fee in California. Republican Ted Gaines has begun the process of putting a fee referendum on the June 2012 ballot.

The 150 dollar fee was part of the recent state budget. It applies to rural homeowners who get service from Cal Fire. But Gaines says many rural counties already contract with Cal Fire to provide fire protection.

“It’s double taxation,”said Gaines. “They’ve already paid once through their county taxes and now they’re being charged an additional tax from the state of California.”

Gaines considers the fee a tax and says it should have been passed by a two-thirds vote of the legislature. But Democrats consider it a fee for service, and say they can pass it with a majority vote.

This is one of several expected referendum efforts that deal with the state budget. Amazon is also trying to overturn a new law that requires online retailers to collect California sales tax.

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