Governor Brown Continues to Urge Restraint
During the State of the State Address, Governor Brown continued his call for fiscal restraint. I share the governor’s optimism when it comes to California’s future however, the true test of his leadership will be whether or not he can hold the line against tax-and-spend politicians.
Earlier this month, the governor also revealed his January Budget. I agree with his decision to strengthen our rainy day fund. Now, the governor and legislature should focus on improving the quality of life for Californians without raising taxes.
Apply for the Capital Fellows Program
If you’re a college graduate who wants to get involved in California politics, consider applying for one of the 2016-2017 Capital Fellows Programs sponsored by Sacramento State University.
California government needs determined and involved people in order to be successful. The Capital Fellows Program gives participants of all ages the opportunity to gain political experience, while actively contributing to the development and implementation of public policy in California.
Fellows in each program work for 10 – 11 months and receive health benefits and a monthly stipend. Applications are due Monday, February 8, 2016 by 5 p.m. Pacific Time.
Update on Fire Fee Lawsuit
Slowly but surely the lawsuit against California’s confusing and controversial fire fee is moving forward.
A recent court ruling approves the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association’s plan to alert those who pay the fire fee, using newspaper, Internet, and email notices about the class suit. The court defines the class as:
“Owners of property with habitable structures thereon, whose property has been designated part of the State Responsibility Area, who have paid the fire prevention fee imposed by disputed ABX1-29, and who completed and timely submitted to CalFire a Petition for Redetermination disputing the validity of the fee.”
The court’s ruling underscores the continued importance of appealing your bill each and every year to ensure you are part of the class. Even so, I believe all taxpayers who pay an illegal tax deserve refunds. Should the court strike down the fire fee, it looks like it will be up to the Legislature and governor to ensure all taxpayers, not just those who filed appeals, get their money back.
The class notice is available online. For the latest news and information on the fire fee, visit calfirefee.com.
In an effort to better serve my constituents, I’ve launched a new user-friendly website.
The new responsive web design makes content more accessible on mobile devices and highlights helpful and in-demand resources for taxpayers such as the Find Your Tax Rate tool.
Please take a moment to look at the new website and let me know what you think.
Q: I can’t afford to hire a tax professional to help with my federal and state tax filings. What can I do?
A: The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program provides free income tax preparation to individuals and families with household incomes of $54,000 or less. VITA volunteers have been trained and certified by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and are available to assist at locations throughout California.
Learn more about the VITA program.