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Calif. tax collector criticized for opposing firefighting fee

2:45 PM, Sep 12, 2012   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO, CA (AP) - One of California's top elected tax collectors is drawing criticism for his high-profile efforts to block a controversial new fee that the board he sits on is responsible for collecting.

Republican Board of Equalization member George Runner says the Democratic Legislature and governor engaged in an "illegal money-grab" when they voted to charge rural residents a $150 fee.

He has a website encouraging homeowners to appeal the fee and says he will join a lawsuit by opponents who say it is an unconstitutional tax.

Democrats including the state controller, Senate leader and fellow board members say Runner is going too far in opposing a lawfully enacted fee.

Runner says he is balancing his dual responsibilities as a tax collector and representing constituents who make up about half those being billed.

The Associated Press

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