Donnelly

Assemblyman urges residents to sue state over ‘illegal’ fee hike
August 11, 2011 5:34 PM
Beau Yarbrough
Staff Writer

HESPERIA • Decrying political games and budget gimmicks in Sacramento, Assemblyman Tim Donnelly spent an evening with local residents attacking fellow members of the legislature, railing against “illegal” taxes and urging angry taxpayers to join suits against the state.

The first-term Republican 59th district assemblyman held a town hall meeting Wednesday night at the at the Hesperia Branch Library, answering questions from constituents on his views on pending and recently approved legislation and the direction Sacramento is heading.

“The budget is based on ‘I hope so,’” he said, particularly as it’s balanced based on the state seeing faster-than-expected growth in the coming year. “Whatever happened to cutting down our budget to within our means?”

Donnelly spoke for roughly an hour and a half to a crowd of about 100, including many who identified with the Tea Party movement. He had promoted the evening as a chance for constituents to learn about a new fee imposed on residents living in unincorporated areas of the county, although the dialogue quickly moved onto other topics.

ABX1-29, signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in July, will charge property owners $150 per structure on state wildlands, called State Responsibility Areas. Local portions of the SRAs include Phelan, Pinon Hills, Wrightwood, Oak Hills, Lucerne Valley and southern Apple Valley.

“I feel your pain,” Donnelly said, imitating former president Bill Clinton.

He characterized ABX1-29 as an illegal tax hike, since it wasn’t passed with the two-thirds majority required for tax hikes. He encouraged angry constituents to join the lawsuits several organizations are threatening over the bill.

To read more about Donnelly’s town hall meeting, see the full story in Friday’s Daily Press. Get the complete story every day with the “exactly as printed” Daily Press E-edition, only $5 per month! Click here to try it free for 7 days. To subscribe to the Daily Press in print or online, call (760) 241-7755, 1-800-553-2006 or click here.

Staff writer Natasha Lindstrom contributed to this report.

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 760-956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.