Letter: Unexplained 'Fire Prevention Fee' amounts to abusive extortion
Mar 27, 2014 | 3051 views | 0 0 comments | 102 102 recommendations | email to a friend | print
EDITOR,

I am quite frustrated about the tax bill for the CA Fire Prevention Fee, which was recently sent to me.

The Board of Equalization is requiring me to pay $115 yearly, but there is no explanation given for this whatsoever. What precisely are the preventative services for us? Has this bill been voted in by the taxpayers or is this another example of taxation without representation? A tax masquerading as a “fee” is still money out of my pocket.

I am a citizen who is very concerned about preventing forest fires. Twice a year in the spring and fall, I have a local tree company in Scotts Valley clean, prune and burn debris when permitted. These are the actions of a concerned and responsible citizen. I don’t need another regulatory government agency helping itself to my limited resources, when I am already taking action to prevent fires in my area.

Being widowed and 87 years old, I object to now being targeted for living in the redwood forest with this extra annual tax of $115. I am demanding that those taxes paid be refunded to me and not be taxed again. Something is seriously out of place here. I, among other neighbors my age living in this area, object to being abused by these threats of late payment fees, levies, collection agencies, and so on by those in government who instituted this tax. These threats amount to scare tactics to force compliance from elderly people who have been tax-paying, voting citizens for many years. We are told this is extortion and not legal.

Mary Van Diepen, Scotts Valley

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