“About 5% of the estimated 825,000 fire tax bills are in the mail so far.” said Runner. “The state is currently sending bills to taxpayers in Calaveras County. Up next are Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte and El Dorado counties.”
The tax, which Runner opposes as “unfair and unconstitutional,” was approved as a fee on a dubious simple majority vote of the Legislature last year and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown.
“Not one penny of this new tax will be used to put out fires,” cautioned Runner. “The funds collected—optimistically projected to be $84 million—are restricted to funding existing fire prevention efforts and cannot be used for firefighters or actual fire suppression.”
The new law requires residential rural property owners in the State Responsibility Area (SRA) to pay $150 for each habitable structure located on their land. Property owners who pay for local fire protection receive a $35 reduction.
To help inform California taxpayers, Runner has established a website, calfirefee.com, providing information about the new fire tax. Californians can visit this site to find out if they will receive a fire tax bill. They can also learn details regarding the process, timeline and grounds for filing an appeal.
The state plans to mail more than 825,000 bills in alphabetical order by county between August and early December. The state has released the following partial mailing schedule, as well as a complete county-by-county bill count.
Number of Bills
August 13th through 14th
August 14th through 17th
August 17th through 24th
August 24th through 29th
August 29th through 30th
August 30th through September 7th
September 7th through 10th
September 10th through 12th