Calaveras County Public Access TV has added a new program for the enjoyment of cable viewers.
"Taxpayer Alert" is a public service effort by volunteers and sponsored by the Calaveras County Taxpayers Association.
For those who do not have Calaveras cable TV, or are out of the area, previously aired programs are uploaded to YouTube and can be accessed from the PATV website. Our last six program interviews are linked to YouTube below:
Jon is president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and is leading the lawsuit seeking to overturn the Fire Tax. He discusses other issues as well.
George is our representative on the Board of Equalization and he discusses several issues including the Fire Tax.
Rebecca is our County Auditor/Controller and she discusses concerns about county overspending and other concerns.
Richard represents the Pacific Legal Foundation and he discusses several interesting court cases.
Gary is our County Sheriff and he discusses progress in reducing response time and improvements including the new jail.
Steve owns Moaning Cavern Park and other very successful enterprises in the Gold County. He is former President of the County Chamber, the Visitor's Bureau and is Vice President of the Calaveras Taxpayers Association. He discusses several interesting concepts.
Taxpayer Association Raises Awareness
By Alicia Castro, Reporter, Calaveras Enterprise
Posted on July 26, 2013
In lieu of a Tea Party, the Calaveras County Taxpayers Association joined together for an afternoon barbecue Wednesday at Moaning Caverns Park in Vallecito.
The nonpartisan, nonprofit educational group aims at promoting wise use of public funds and protecting economic freedoms. It has sponsored four Tea Party events and five candidate forums over past years.
At its annual barbecue, the taxpayers association fed the masses with a meal catered by the Murphys Hotel and treated its guests to music by District 1 Supervisor Cliff Edson and Tonja Dausend of Burson.
Association President Al Segalla presented the Award for Excellence in Public Service to Brian Moss, administrator of the Environmental Management Agency. Moss also received recognition from the California Senate and Assembly.
Peter Racz, whom District 5 Supervisor Darren Spellman called a “frequent flyer” at county supervisor meetings, was given a surprise award for his dedication to the association’s mission.
“That’s perfect,” Racz said, looking at the plaque. Glancing up, he added, “Where’s the check?”
In addition to the awards, there was a panel discussion with Calaveras County officials: Lori Norton, chief administrative officer; Leslie Davis, assessor; Rebecca Callen, auditor/controller; and Barbara Sullivan, treasurer and tax collector.
After explaining their roles in the county, the panel was asked questions from the crowd – most notably, the state law or mandate they’d like to see clarified or changed.
Norton and Callen both referenced restricted purpose funds and called for more autonomy at the county level.
“If work is done locally, the money should be appropriated locally,” Callen said. “The state owes (us) a lot of money, and I would like to get it back.”
Callen also spoke to the need of matching expenditures against revenue. With expenditures increasing at a faster rate than revenue, she advised government officials to not make “creative” decisions.
“Our local government should be living within its means,” she said, to the hearty applause of the crowd.
Retired Sen. George Runner and Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, shared the floor in keynote speaking.
Coupal is the principal author of Proposition 218, the Right to Vote on Taxes Act. This proposition recently impacted Calaveras County when it mandated Calaveras County Water District to provide a 45-day notice of rate increases and made a 50 percent plus-one voter protest override possible.
The Howard Jarvis Association is also in the process of suing the state for the California Fire Prevention Fee, which was passed by a Democratic-controlled Legislature and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2011.
The $150 annual fee, projected to raise more than $80 million to fund fire-prevention efforts, has begun to be levied upon more than 800,000 property owners whose homes sit within the 31 million-acre State Responsibility Area.
The Howard Jarvis Association website relating to the fee – firetaxprotest.com – clearly outlines its stance.
“We believe this fee imposed by politicians is really an illegal tax under Proposition 13.”
Until the lawsuit reaches a conclusion, property owners are obligated to pay the fee or face penalties.
According to the State Board of Equalization, if the fee isn’t paid by its due date, a penalty of 10 percent of the fee will be added to the amount due.
However, if the billing is appealed and the amount remains unpaid after redetermination, a doubled 20 percent penalty would be applied and accrued each month until the unpaid fee portion is paid.
“Legislature stuck it to the taxpayers,” said Runner, who represents the Board of Equalization’s 2nd District. “Not only with the fee, but the whole process.”
Runner’s district spans the vast majority of the state, and the Calaveras County Taxpayers Association calls him an “outspoken critic of the confusing and controversial California Fire Prevention Fee.”
The Howard Jarvis Association is still seeking petitions for redetermination, which can be found at firetaxprotest.comand the Calaveras County Assessor’s Office.
For more information about the Calaveras Taxpayers Association, visit ccta.camp8.org.
Contact Alicia Castro, Reporter, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Assemblyman Wes Chesbro, who represents many rural taxpayers on California’s North Coast, is leading the charge to reinvent and expand the fire fee. His proposal (AB 468) would replace the fire fee with a 4.8 percent “surcharge” on all insured homeowners and businesses in the State of California, regardless of location.