On August 7, the Sacramento County Superior Court issued a ruling granting “class status” to the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association’s lawsuit against the California Fire Prevention Fee. This decision is welcome news to taxpayers.
If the court hadn’t granted class status, taxpayers might have been required to take legal action individually—an unfair, expensive and burdensome prospect.
When might the court strike down this illegal tax and force the state to issue refunds?
No one knows for certain, but here’s what’s likely to happen next:
Once the discovery process concludes—hopefully later this year—HJTA will file a motion asking the court to rule in favor of fire fee payers.
Should the judge grant the motion, there would be no need for a trial. Trials are usually reserved for cases where factual findings are necessary.
Assuming taxpayers prevail, it remains likely the state will appeal the ruling, perhaps all the way to the Supreme Court.
Still, any step forward is good news for rural property owners who continue to be subject to an illegal tax that has done nothing to provide greater fire protection.
For more information, please visit CalFireFee.com.