The State of California has suspended the State Fire Prevention Fee as of July 1, 2017 forward. We continue to advocate for refunds to class members and a declaration that the fee was an illegal tax under Propositions 13 and 26.
If you own habitable property in CAL FIRE’s jurisdiction (known as the State Responsibility Area), you were affected. The fee was billed annually since 2012, ending June 30, 2017. The last bills were sent out between March 1st and June 13th of 2017.
The fee was based on $150 per habitable structure on your property, adjusted for inflation. On each bill there should have been a $35 credit if you already pay a special tax or assessment to a local fire protection agency.
This annual fee was imposed by the Legislature (all Democrats in favor, all Republicans opposed) at the request of Governor Brown. It was collected by the Board of Equalization (now known as the Department of Tax and Fee Administration) and administered by the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Challenging the Fee And Claiming a Refund
If you have paid the fee and filed a timely Petition for Redetermination, you may be eligible for a refund of those fees (from the billing year of your petition forward) should we win in court. Unfortunately, the time has likely passed to join our class action if you have not done so already. For your reference, however, forms and instructions may still be found here.