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Backers Halt Effort To Roll Back Rural Fire Fee

Posted on Thursday, October 6, 2011 8:25am

California voters won’t get the chance to overturn a new fire protection fee on rural property owners that’s part of this year’s state budget.  Referendum backers couldn’t meet Thursday’s deadline to turn in more than 500-thousand signatures.

Republican state Senator Ted Gaines has led the effort to overturn the annual fee. But he told the Associated Press that organizers won’t be able to collect enough signatures to force a ballot referendum next year.

Gaines says he may try to repeal the fee through the Legislature instead – but that would be difficult because Democrats are in the majority.

By law, the fee can run up to 150 dollars. But the state fire board has voted to charge property owners no more than 90 dollars starting next year. Governor Jerry Brown is also looking to fix flaws in the bill he signed in July as part of the state budget.

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