San Bernardino Seal

Wednesday, August 26, 2015 – 12:30 p.m.

Only San Bernardino, California could hatch a whacked-out and completely unlawful scheme to tax it’s property owners.

The latest developments coming out of the city’s bankruptcy case, involving plan to convert its fire protection services from a city operated fire department to San Bernardino County Fire Department, is completely disingenuous and a just a little bit diabolical.

At issue is a city proposal to implement a $143 per year parcel tax within the city to pay for fire protection services.

The only problem here is the city is attempting to implement the tax using U.S. bankruptcy Judge Meredith Jury as the stalking horse.

The city somehow believes it can use a bankruptcy judgement, signed by Jury, to force the tax, which doesn’t exist anywhere else within the existing San Bernardino County Fire Protection District, onto the shoulders of property owners.

In other words, city leaders are seeking to avoid a state-mandated vote of property owner’s to implement the tax.

The larger question here? If switching city fire protection services to county fire will save considerable money, why do you need the tax in the first place?

This is going to be ugly. Obviously the city can propose new taxes to augment current revenue. But you have to get voter approval where required.

Seeking tax increases to garner more revenue should have been something the city should have proposed, and sought approval for, long ago.

InlandPolitics.com has learned that calls, regarding this situation, are already being received by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

It’s time for city leaders to stop playing games and do things the right way. If they can’t, they might find themselves being thrown out of court.