By Bob Berkowitz – July 19, 2017
I don’t get angry about much, but last year it hit the tipping point for me. After 5 years of being charged a fee, or tax or whatever you call it, most of Del Norter’s, living out of the metro area, were being gouged $117 each and every year for what I was calling an illegal tax. In addition to the fees we already pay for our own fire protection, the board of equalization sent this bill to us each and every year.
If you lived in the outlying areas of the county, I sent you a protest form so you had a method of getting this fee reversed.
Well, I’ve been at this for a year and now we have finally achieved success. This illegal fire tax/fee has finally been eliminated. That’s right, you will received no more bills from the State Board of Equalization.
This just didn’t happen by accident. It took a lot of arm twisting and letter writing by you and others like you to accomplish this almost impossible task. Both Senator McGuire and Assemblyman Wood helped us push this as part of the new cap and trade legislation.
Last year I wrote several articles and letters to many of you advocating getting rid of this tax/fee.
Here is what I wrote: “To date this has cost us over $500 on each parcel of property we own. Not only is it illegal, but it is unethical to impose this extra, illegal tax on us.
There is an old saying that you can’t fight city hall. Well, in this case, we can fight and win but only if we have a united Board of Supervisors who is willing to advocate on our behalf.
I was hoping that our 5 term supervisor would have led the fight to repeal this tax five years ago but he has chosen not to fight for the affected citizens, not only in the 5th district, but in Smith River, Fort Dick, and Gasquet who are paying this illegal tax. Unfortunately the board, by its inaction, has left it to others to “advocate on your behalf.”
I want to thank all of you who helped in this fight. After 6 years of fighting the good fight, we have finally won. This is what happens when we all get involved in writing an obvious wrong.