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The Union Democrat welcomes letters for publication on any subject as long as they are tasteful and responsible, and are signed with the full name of the writer (include a phone number and address, for verification purposes only). Letters should not exceed 300 words. A maximum of one letter per writer can be published every two weeks. The newspaper reserves the right to edit for brevity, clarity, taste and style. Please, no business thank-you’s, business endorsements, or poetry. We will not publish consumer complaints against businesses or personal attacks.

Letters may be submitted by email at letters@uniondemocrat.com or by mail, 84 S. Washington St., Sonora 95370 and by FAX, 209-532-6451. Guest opinions, columns and editorial cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Union Democrat editorial board.

Governor’s fire tax is unfair to rural taxpayers

By Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen
Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed a measure that directs the state to collect a tax up to $150 per structure on buildings located in “State Responsibility Areas.” These areas are located primarily in rural and unincorporated parts of the state, like much of my district. The State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection will be meeting this month to adopt regulations to implement the tax. The new fire tax applies to potentially more than 800,000 structures in the 31 million acres where the state has the main firefighting responsibility.
The Governor and the legislative Democrats who voted for this tax said that it is needed to help protect public safety. They also said that those who choose to live in high-risk areas need to pay the costs of living there — that it was unfair to have other residents subsidize their firefighting costs.

Letters to the editor for Aug. 8, 2011

Letters to the editor for Aug. 5, 2011

Letters to the editor for Aug. 4, 2011

Letters to the editor for Aug. 3, 2011

Letters to the editor for Aug. 2, 2011

Letters to the Editor for Aug. 1, 2011

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