Dear Jon - It's a tough fire season this year due to the dry conditions and yet the Cal Fire Protection Fee is still causing controversy for many. In this Dear Jon I'll put the fire out on whether this fee is bogus or not. Becky wanted to know, "Is the Cal Fire Protection Fee on hold or is it still being levied to home owners?" The answer after the jump.
We've reported that many people feel this fee is just another tax or they shouldn't have to pay since they're covered under a local fire district already. But the fact is it's a state law enacted in July of 2011.
The fire protection fee is still being billed to home owners whose property falls in the state responsibility area (SRA). There was some adjustment of the boundaries this year that put the billing on hold, but if you received a bill from the State Board of Equalization, it's due and payable.
To find out if you live in the SRA just Google 'cal fire sra map' and the click the first link that comes up on that search. You'll then be on the State Department of Forestry website. Scroll down to the fourth link that says the Cal Fire State Responsibility Areas for fire protection, click on that...and you'll see all the state's counties maps. Click on your county and you can zoom in on these maps to see the street you live on.
The Fire Protection Fee is levied at the rate of 150 dollars for each inhabitable structure on your property. Home owners who are also in the area of a local fire protection district get a 35 dollar reduction.
Bills are going out as we speak; Monterey County was sent in August; San Benito County is coming up on the 17th of September; SLO and Santa Barbara County are coming in October. Consider yourself warned!
If you have a question for Dear Jon, leave it here or on the Dear Jon home page. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter as well. Curiosity, it's a good thing!
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