The Day fire marches across Lockwood Valley in September of 2006. [photo by G. Meyer of The Mountain Enterprise]
As we were going to press Wednesday, September 12, this letter came. We decided to make room for it as it contains useful information for our readers.—Editor
September 12, 2012
Our office has been inundated with calls from constituents asking questions about the CAL FIRE bills going out today through September 14. Any chance you can run the information below to provide some background on the fee and how homeowners can appeal?
Office of Assemblywoman Shannon Grove
ABOUT THE CAL FIRE FEE
The State of California has begun mailing bills to rural property owners. Kern County residents who own habitable property in a jurisdiction where CAL FIRE has primary responsibility for fire prevention will receive bills between September 12 through 14.
Each bill will be $150 per habitable structure. A $35 credit will be applied if the property owner has paid a special tax or assessment to a local fire protection agency.
This new annual fee was passed by the Legislature at the request of Governor Brown to raise funds for fire prevention efforts. It is being administered by the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) and collected by the Board of Equalization.
PROTESTING THE CAL FIRE FEE
You must pay your bill. If you are late, steep penalties and interest are compounded monthly.
To qualify for a refund, you must have paid your bill and filed a “Petition for Redetermination.” You can obtain the petition by calling the Fire Prevention Fee Service Center at 1-888-310-6447 or visiting www.firepreventionfee.org.
Make a copy of the check so that you can enclose it with your Petition for Redetermination form as proof of payment.
You must submit it within 30 days from the mailing date on the billing notice to: Fire Prevention Petitions, P.O. Box 2254, Suisun City, CA 94585.
Once CAL FIRE has received your petition, they will have 60 days to review the petition and issue a written decision in your case.
Prior reporting in The Mountain Enterprise on this subject
2012-08-10$150 State fire protection fees to rural homes raise concerns
2011-08-26 ‘Fire Tax’ Proposed
This is part of the September 14, 2012 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
Have an opinion on this matter? We'd like to hear from you.