Answers on new California Fire Fee

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 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 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.



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24 Responses to Answers on new California Fire Fee

  1. just one August 14, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    If this is state wide, how come this is the first we are hearing of it? Is this a bill we will recieve in the mail? Or in our state tax bill?

    • Benett Kessler August 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

      The bill will be mailed to you. There was news coverage last year before the assembly bill passed.

      • Trouble August 14, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

        Benett- thxs for your follow up on this matter.

  2. Mark August 14, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    I highly recommend you first responder ninnies pay the $150 and get over it. You’ve learned to rely on being saved by our various government agencies so you should pay up and be happy. You will never save yourselves or do a darn thing in advance to save your homes in the event of a brush fire.

    Perhaps they should just let the homes burn to the ground of those who do not pay the fee.

    • Russ Monroe August 14, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

      Why don’t you pay my $450 fee then Mark. Our home too receives the same accolades from the same fire inspectors. It has much more than the required brush clearances as well as a solid steel exterior, no combustibles used in the framing, and concrete floors. You do not have a monopoly on fire safety Mark. You do owe the rest of us who have done the right thing, an apology.

    • Big AL August 14, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

      Gee … what blew your skirt up Mark? Is that a preemptive strike at people’s possible objection to this added cost for fire protection.

      This seems to be one way the state government is trying to get more money than what they are getting for this same protection. Ninnie or not dude … even the Bishop Fire department has some objection to it.

    • Mindy September 19, 2012 at 7:58 pm #

      I think you are crazy! I for one am already paying a tax for my fire pervention, actually, I am paying two fees. One for the county I live in and a 2nd for the association I live in that has there own fire dept. So you see I am paying for the county and the community.

      The information states that ab 129 will not protect homes or privte property, it is mainley for literature…Fraud Fraud Fraud.

      Gov. Jack Ass Jerry Brown is taxing all Californian’s for the betterment of illigals from Mexico, money the taxpayers should not being footing.

      Sounds like you can throw your money away, go ahead but don’t expect the decent hard working people to go for this fraud tax that Jack Ass Jerry Brown is forcing us to do. Stop giving our much needed tax dollars to the illegals to live and spend it on legal citizens.

      • Benett Kessler September 19, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

        Give the Legislature some credit too.

        • Big AL September 20, 2012 at 1:24 am #

          Yeah give em all credit for it .. They do what they want though .. who is going to stop them .. the courts will not .. they can’t seem to apply right decisions either .. only way .. is to clean house, get them all out of there, and reduce their retirement and separation bennies down to what they expect everyone else to pay.
          If the next bunch can’t cut it .. send them down the road kickin horse turds too! But that will not happen .. just a fantasy.

          It just pisses me off .. we’re already paying for fire protection, which includes the things they are claiming this second tax (fee) is paying for. If you wanted more .. raise the tax some, but don’t double butt us!

  3. Eamon McNamara August 14, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

    As a homeowner in an area that is seeing this “fee” I’m whole-heartily against it. It’s the homeowners responsibility to ensure that their property is properly maintained and safe from wildfire; I’m responsible for it’s protection during a fire, not government. “Mandatory evacuations” are illegal, no one or government agency has the authority to make it “mandatory” to leave your house regardless of the reason. I don’t need the government to protect my home, it’s my responsibility.

  4. Trouble August 14, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

    Mark- I believe most of the people will end up paying $115 dollars because we do have our local volunteer dept. But, I will appeal and hope they don’t have time to respond with in the 60 day window. I’m in no hurry to support this double taxation you seem to glow over.

  5. small town girl August 15, 2012 at 12:29 am #

    I think all the ninnies are kicking your butt politically. This is an unfair tax, to hell if I am going to pay it. Where are the rest of my tax dollars going if they aren’t for public services? oh, yes, to the rest of the USA’s debt that I didn’t chose to be a part of. Just another way to make me pay something I dont want to pay for.

    • taxifornia August 15, 2012 at 10:49 am #

      If you dont pay it .. They will impose a huge late fee on the FEE. and if you don’t pay the late fee and Fee. I am sure they will be putting you in Jail or attaching your wages or bank account.

      Welcome to Taxifornia

  6. Liberalism_rocks August 15, 2012 at 6:54 am #

    This is an excellent idea. If we want continued fire protection we’ll have to pay for it. I’m happy paying extra for this critical service. If you choose to live in a rural area expect to pay more for’s that simple.

    Why is everyone complaining about this? People are clamouring for overall tax rates to go down…hence we have to pay for specialized services. Buck up and stop bellyaching.

  7. Mike August 15, 2012 at 7:06 am #

    This opens the door to many fees. Oh, you live in a rural area? You should pay more for schools, roads, police, etc. watch out! The only good news is that once the bills are sent, numerous lawsuits will be filed. Should we all just reduce our state tax bill by the amount of the fee to stop the double taxation?

  8. taxifornia August 15, 2012 at 8:24 am #

    “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”

    Funny It doesn’t mention anything about Public Pensions or Money going to the General Fund.

    Just another Ponzi Governmnet FEE

  9. taxifornia August 15, 2012 at 8:26 am #

    This is what they want .. Give the sheeple a $35 credit and they will be happy to pay the balance of $ 115
    What A SCAM

    And I am sure the so called FEE (TAX) will be going up within 2 years

  10. Mark August 15, 2012 at 10:29 am #

    Wait a second! I’m not paying either.

    I’m just making darn sure I don’t rely on them to save my home in the event of a major brush fire.

    I hope the rest of you in fire country do the same. The time to prepare is now.

  11. Jay Wheaton August 15, 2012 at 10:48 am #

    Fire protection is one of the services government provides for our protection. I don’t have a problem having to pay for needed services but this money will not go to what the state says, you know they will blow it like all tax money. Does anyone think they will see CalFire inspecting for brush clearance here in the eastern sierra? No, have you seen them yet?. I place no blame on the firefighters they are doing the best they can with their limited budget. The State Fire Marshall is mandated by law to provide fire prevention services, why do we have to pay extra to enforce a law? If one is in a high crime area do they pay a law enforcement fee? The governor is to blame he cut budgets then institutes ” fees ” to pay for the services.

  12. Roger August 15, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

    How did the bill come under the jurisdiction of the Franchise Tax Board. I see this as another way to go around Proposition 13 and increase property taxes while calling it something else.

    I feel a new wave of nomenclature to make something appear to be something else; as an example waterboarding is not torture if you call it enhanced interrogation.
    or to put it another way, a rose by another name is still a rose.

    • Benett Kessler August 15, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

      The California Assembly and rest of the legislature voted for the bill that named the Board of Equalization as the collector.

  13. Baby Jesus August 20, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

    Maybe the “friends of the Inyo” can receive some OHV monies to help the locals out with fire control?
    Just saying.

  14. Cindy September 20, 2012 at 11:12 am #

    We are having a workshop in Big Pine, Wed. Sept 26 from 5-7 pm at the library to help anyone with filling out the challenge protest / refund forms ( if the challenge works)

    Howard Jarvis Website for more info.

    Cindy Schlick

  15. Big AL September 20, 2012 at 11:03 pm #

    Nice, I will be there Cindy, thank you.


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