The California state legislature passed Assembly Bill x1 29 on July 7, 2011 authorizing the Board of Equalization
to collect a Fire Prevention Fee for all "habitable structures" in the CalFire State Responsibility Area (SRA).
The SRA is theoretically all non-federal land for which CalFire is responsible for fire protection.
There are serious questions as to the legality of this "fee", and various organizations are fighting the
"fee" on legislative and legal fronts. It is likely that if the battle as to the legality of the "fee"
is lost by the state, then the Democrat supermajority in Sacramento will pass whatever legislation is needed to make the fee
legal and permanent.
While the whole situation is outrageous, the homeowner has little that he can do other than to pay the fee and file petitions
to have the fee reduced or returned. The homeowner might remember this overstepping by Sacrmamento at the next election for state
legislators, but it seems voters have such short memories.
Remember, when you get your bill PAY IT ON TIME. Otherwise, you are subject to penalties and interest. It is similar to
protesting your property taxes by just not paying them. The state will file a lien on your property and might eventually force
a property sale to collect their money.
First, see below if you are unfamiliar with this whole SRA Fee controversy, or if you received a bill for $150 and
your dwelling is located in one of the TCCSD or CCVFD districts. If you received a bill for $150, follow the
instructions below for filing Packet 2 (TCCSD) or Packet 3 (CCVFD). Similarly, if your property did not have a habitable
structure between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017, file Packet 2 or Packet 3 and send in proof that you owe nothing.
If you received a bill for $115, then you should pay it on time. Also, you should file Packet 1 to protest the legality of the tax unless you have already filed the protest information. Howard Jarvis now says you only need to protest once.
Follow the instructions below for filing Packet 1. Start with the section below titled "How Do I Protest?" and follow the
instructions for filing Packet 1.
For each "habitable structure", the state charges $150. If your parcel is in the Trinity Center Community Services
District (TCCSD) or the Coffee Creek Volunteer Fire District (CCVFD), then you are eligible for a $35 exemption for each habitable
structure and your fee should be $115.
A "habitable structure" is a building that can be legally occupied for residential use. That usually means a kitchen,
bathroom, running water, heat, etc. These include: single family homes, multi-dwelling structures, mobile and manufactured homes,
condos and apartment buildlings. Habitable structures do NOT include buildlings such as garages, barns, outdoor sanitation
facilities, and sheds.
You file a formal Petition for Redetermination. This is a state form on which you put your reasons for petitioning.
How you fill out the form depends on whether you are in TCCSD or CCVFD and how much they billed you.
You fill out their form, include any attachments, and mail it to three different addresses. The form calls for only
one address, but you are more assured of your petition serving as your protest if you file it at all three addresses.
Mail your payments ON TIME and mail your petitions BY THE SAME DATE as your bill's due date. Keep copies of everything,
including your payment check(s).
Download and print the printable instructions and the state
instruction sheet for the petition form. (All files are also linked below under Resources.)
Determine which packet of forms you need based on whether you are in either TCCSD or CCVFD, and if so, whether
you were already granted the $35 exemption.
Download Packet 1 if you are outside TCCSD and CCVFD, OR if you received the $35 exemption.
Download Packet 2 if you are inside TCCSD and DID NOT receive the $35 exemption (that is,
you were billed $150). In Packet 2 is a letter from the CSD with maps you can use to identify to the state where your parcel is inside
the TCCSD. See the Printable instructions for details.
Download Packet 3 if you are inside CCVFD and DID NOT receive the $35 exemption (that is,
you were billed $150). In Packet 3 is a letter from the VFD with maps you can use to identify to the state where your parcel is inside
the CCVFD. See the Printable instructions for details.
Be sure to send copies to all 3 address listed below and in the printable instructions, and mail on time!
All files are PDF files.
CalFire's Fee Information website: firepreventionfee.org
Phone number for the Fire Prevention Fee Service Center: 1-888-310-6447
Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association Fee Protest Information website
Addresses for mailing petitions:
Fire Prevention Fee Service Center
PO Box 2254
Suisun City, CA 94585
Board of Forestry and Fire Protection
PO Box 944246
Sacramento, CA 94244
Board of Equalization
PO Box 942879
Sacramento, CA 94279
(Note: these should be separate mailings from your payment.)