Judge leans toward dismissing San Bernardino County fire tax lawsuit

  • Source: Victorville Daily Press
  • Published: 02/07/2019 04:50 PM

A Superior Court judge has indicated he will likely dismiss a lawsuit filed against the County protesting a parcel tax passed in October to shore up fire department finances. At a Tuesday hearing, Judge Donald Alvarez heard arguments from lawyers representing the County and lawyers for the Red Brennan Group, one of the plaintiffs suing to halt implementation of the tax. RBG attorney Sean Wade said Alvarez signaled he was leaning toward agreeing with the County’s assertion that the plaintiffs have no legal claim to file the lawsuit. Alvarez is expected to issue a written opinion in the next few weeks. RBG’s contention is that the County violated California’s constitution when the Board of Supervisors approved an expansion of Fire Protection Zone 5, or FP-5. The expansion added 19,073 square miles of unincorporated County land to the fire zone and imposed an annual levy of $157.26 on all parcels on that land, with a possible maximum increase of 3 percent per year. County Fire Chief Mark Hartwig told the Board in June the revenue would help reduce a nearly $30 million deficit in the department’s budget.


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