The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association has been granted class action status to provide relief to more than 800,000 California property owners who received bills from the state for its fire prevention fee, which the lawsuit filed by HJTA claims is illegal. The association can now proceed with notifying the public of the class action status and allow those who desire to opt out.
In last week’s Journal we ran our annual wrap-up of key events from the previous year. And, as is almost always the case, fire topped the year in review. Close to 200,000 acres burned in Trinity County this past year. Homes were lost, outbuildings destroyed. Smoke inundated many areas of the county for weeks — Hayfork and Hyampom were particularly hard hit. So was the area surrounding Denny.
The recent snow and rain have provided a good start in an effort to refill the reservoirs and aquifers of the county in 2016. We can only hope Mother Nature continues this pattern, leaving a nice, deep snowpack in the mountains, particularly above Trinity Lake.
While Measure W on the Nov. 3 ballot garnered plenty of support with 59 percent of the vote, it failed to reach the needed two-thirds total for approval. The measure would have generated additional revenue that would have been earmarked for the Sheriff’s Department, local fire departments and tourism promotion through an increase in the Transient Occupancy Tax rate from the current 5 percent to 10 percent.
The election this coming Tuesday, Nov. 3, is a small one, at least in the number of items on the ballot — one countywide tax measure and contested seats for three school boards: Trinity Alps Unified, Coffee Creek Elementary and Mountain Valley Unified school districts. But its size belies its importance.
Finally. For years we’ve been encouraging local, state and federal officials to all get on the same page and establish some rules and regulations for marijuana grows. On Friday Gov. Jerry Brown signed a trio of bills which form the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act — AB 243, AB 266 and SB 643 — meant to bring some sanity and common sense to the marijuana fields.
By all accounts, the World Endurance Mountain Bike Organization’s 24-Hour Solo Mountain Bike Championships in Weaverville came off without a hitch this past weekend.
Measure W on the Nov. 3 ballot would seek to provide funds for the Sheriff’s Department, volunteer fire departments and marketing Trinity County by raising the Transient Occupancy Tax an additional 5 percent. All noble and necessary causes, and Trinity County’s current TOT rate of 5 percent is ridiculously low compared to the rest of the state. But Measure W isn’t the answer to help fund these ventures. At best, it is a Band-Aid.
While the California Legislature has been at impasse over transportation funding for the state, Gov. Jerry Brown has offered up a plan that includes additional taxes, user fees, and the use of some cap-and-trade dollars to help pay for infrastructure maintenance and repair.