Assemblyman Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) is working with other California state legislature members to investigate how CalFire uses State Responsibility Area (SRA) fire tax funds. In a letter signed by Wilk and 24 of his colleagues, the lawmakers have requested that Governor Jerry Brown conduct an audit to investigate how CalFire is using the money collected by the fire tax.
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The $150 fire tax fee is assessed by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) on all habitable structures within areas of state responsibility, whether or not CalFire has a presence in that area.
Documents released recently show that the State Attorney General authorized a transfer of $3.6 million from CalFire’s settlement monies to an outside organization beginning in 2005. The money was spent on numerous questionable expenditures that seem to be unrelated to firefighting costs. According to the letter, the expenditures include $33,000 spent at a Pismo Beach luxury resort and the purchase of 600 digital cameras.
“The burden created by SRA’s fire tax is hurting property owners throughout California,” said Wilk. “The tax dollars brought in by this illegal tax should at least be used for their specified purpose: fighting wildfires.”
* SCVNews.com contributed to this report
- Assemblyman Wilk Joins Letter To Investigate CalFire
- Source: Santa Clarita News
- Kevin Kelton
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