We have received our third billing for the California State Fire Tax. The state apparently thinks it has been working, but it seems to me that we have had more and larger wildfires since the tax became a California legislature’s dream. How naive I was to think the tax money would be used to reduce wildfires in urban regions of California. I think the sad results after two years pretty well shows that the tax is a failure and that it is being spent unwisely. Should they keep collecting money for a failed program? I think it is bad enough to have to pay discriminatory taxes for a successful venture, but to pay it for a failed venture is not right. California’s answer to everything seems to be, just add a tax.
It is time for the state to release the actual results of this tax, exactly how much money has been collected and exactly where has it been spent. It would also be interesting to find out if the state even has that information. Last year I paid both of my Fire Tax bills only to be billed again for one of them with penalty fees added. Since I had not received my cancelled checks I did not know if both checks had been cashed so I paid the second billing. Then when I did get my checks back I found that both the original checks had been cashed. I was putting together a package to request a refund when a refund check was received from the state. So I know they have problems accounting for the money collected and I assume that they also have problems with accounting for the money spent. The Fire Tax money has obviously not been spent where needed so if nothing improves I think the State Board of Equalization should be charged with collecting money under false pretenses.
Harry M. Quinn