CBS13 article: http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2014/03/04/call-kurtis-investigates-metro-fire-wont-refund-1-3m-in-taxes-it-shouldnt-have-collected/
The mistake took place from 2005 to 2013, but residents who apply for a refund will only receive a reimbursement for 2009-2013. According to the Fire district, they are, "going by what is legal."
But Ming reached out to a McGeorge School of Law professor John Sims, who said Metro Fire is allowed by law to refund homeowners who were wrongly taxed, but said officials “just apparently don’t want to.” Sims said that specific code section actually means courts cannot force a public agency to pay back taxes collected beyond four years.
Obviously, I'm now upset and confused. The article stated that property owners are urged to contact Metro Fire at 800-676-7516 with any questions they may have. So I did.
He explained that his district, "would absolutely love to refund everything, (but) I need a vehicle to do that." He insists, they are "more than willing to push legislation to amend the tax code, but we have to amend the tax code for this to happen."
A representative from Asm. Cooley's office says they're quickly coming up to speed on the issue and have directed my inquiries to the district director.
A representative from Asm. Ken Cooley's office responded through District Director Trent Sunahara.
“Assemblyman Cooley is currently looking at all options to help get residents their money back. That means it could be a bill or it could be another option. He is going to look into all non-bill options first, as running legislation can cost more than $5,000 to tax payers (staff time, legal review, state processing) and take a significant amount of time to pass. Assemblyman Cooley is committed to helping residents get their money back and is trying to find the best way to do it.”
What you can do:
Residents should challenge Metro Fire to give a very specific reason why they cannot return the money. If they have names of people who they got the money from, they should be able to refund it. If a person writes in and says that Metro Fire owes them from 2005-2009 and shows proof and specifically asks for their refund, then Metro Fire should pay it back.
Metro Fire main number: 800-676-7516