Friday, April 26, 2013

Some fees in California hang around past their departure date

The Sacramento Bee/State Politics/Jim Sanders, 4/26/13, " 'Temporary' California fees live on"

.---Meet "Tax" and "Fee"--
"Thirteen of 21 fees received extensions, cumulatively raising more than $70 million annually for programs ranging from a missing persons database to an effort to fight auto insurance fraud.  

Unlike general taxes paid by nearly all Californians, fees are targeted assessments to people who participate or benefit from a state program for the purpose of funding that service. 

Perhaps the oddest Capitol trail left by a single fee involved five bills over the past decade to raise millions for California courts. .... The $40 court fee, for example, began as a charge to support court security but now can be spent on court operations.  ....  A fee on steelhead fishermen to restore and protect that trout population was extended in 2011 for the fourth time since its inception in 1991. The annual fee, initially $3.15 but now $7.05, has been given yet another date for expiration: July 2017."

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Jack Pitney, political science professor at Claremont McKenna College, said state government was mired in  budget crisis for years so "it's not surprising that most of the fees remain in place." Pitney said fees represent a logical way to support state services by targeting only users, not all families.  Read article.

Note:  the unrelated photograph is from What Culture! 

Posted by Kathy Meeh.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

California Fish & Game or Fish & Wildlife also made the previous free Sturgeon punch card have a fee on it. I think it was around 7 bucks or so.