The State Board of Equalization seems poised to go forward with a State Responsibility Area fire Tax that could be levied on a majority of property owners in Nevada County. The new fee is proposed to make up the $50 million dollars that was taken from the Cal Fire budget this year and moved to the general fund. Supervisor Nate Beason who sits on the Regional Council of Rural Counties reports efforts are underway to amend the language in the authorizing legislation.
“They’re going to define- they being the administration, they’re going to define prevention as containing an ongoing wild land fire; i.e. if a fire starts, and the CalFire people show up, if they can contain that fire or limit it they’re calling that fire prevention, which is quite a stretch. That’s to fit the language of the SRA requirement.”
The SRA fee would charge every property owner in a State Responsibility Area $150 a year for fire prevention services with a 25 to 35 dollar discount if the parcel is also covered by a local fire department.
Taxpayer rights groups have said if the fee is imposed they will challenge it in court.