Homeowners in rural areas of California will have to pay a maximum ninety-dollar fee each year for fire protection. The California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection approved the emergency regulation today (Monday), which is much lower than the 150-dollar fee included in the current state budget. Daniel Berlant with the California Board of Forestry and fire protection explains the reduced amount.
“When the legislature passed the law, they set up to $150. So when the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection actually adopted the regulation, they used the $90 figure as the actual amount that it would generate for revenue.”
According to Berlant, this is emergency regulation and can only be implemented for 180 days and considering the way the legislation was written it could change entirely before implementation.
Berlant gives us a breakdown of how the $90 per each habitable structure in rural areas of California will be invested.
“A portion of it would go toward the administration of collecting it with the Board of Equalization Department. A portion would go to the department’s inspection program. The department’s other prevention work and then $25 of that would go toward fire prevention grants; Fire Safe Councils, the local fire districts if they don’t provide fire prevention already.
The legislation now goes to the board of equalization which is in charge of collecting the fee. Credit is being given to homeowners who already pay for local fire prevention through district fees and taxes. The 850-thousand home owners in these State Responsibility Areas, or SRA’s, would pay a combined 25-million dollars a year to the state, which was counting on 200-million in projected fees.