Government and business seem to demand more money from citizens who make less money mostly these days. News of the State’s new fire fee of $150 per dwelling does not rest well with Californians. The Inyo Planning Department offered some answers to our website questioners on this new fee.
A website with lots of information is available through the Inyo County Planning website. Go to www.inyoplanning.org. Click Current Projects on the left. Then, click State Responsibility Area. In that section, click on California Fire Prevention Fee Information. This same section also holds maps of Inyo and areas covered by State fire agencies.
You can also go directly to www.firepreventionfee.org. That website explains that you can appeal fees, which are generally $150 per habitable dwelling. You can appeal if there are errors behind your bill such as number of dwellings on your property, the $35 credit if you are covered by a local fire district or any other errors. You can appeal online or call.
If you fail to pay the annual fee, the California Board of Equalization can come after you with interest and a 10% penalty. The California Fire Prevention Fee website says the Board of Equalization “may take other action”, but they don’t explain any further.
This website says the fees pay for brush clearance, forest health, fire break construction, defensible space inspections, emergency evacuation planning, fire prevention measures, fire hazard severity maps, implementation of the State Fire Plan and law enforcement.
The fee was established in law in Assembly Bill X1 29 last July. Inyo County and other local fire officials continue to oppose the fee. Check out our website for links to information.