MEDIA RESOURCE: Fire Prevention Fee
State law requires owners of habitable structures located within the State's Responsibility Area (SRA) to pay an annual fee for fire protection. The SRA is the area of the state where the State of California is financially responsible for the prevention and suppression of wildfires. Property owners can input their address on this website to find out whether their property is in the SRA. http://www.firepreventionfee.org/sraviewer_launch.php. The bill that authorized this fee was signed into law on July 7, 2011.
The Board of Equalization is required by law to collect this fee on behalf of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE).
Property owners may be required to pay as much as $150 per habitable structure, but could receive a $35 reduction for each one located within the boundaries of a local fire protection agency. A "habitable structure" is a building that can be occupied for residential use. These include single family homes, multi-dwelling structures, mobile and manufactured homes, condominiums and apartment buildings. Habitable structures do NOT include incidental buildings such as detached garages, barns, outdoor sanitation facilities and sheds.
Property owners have 30 days from the date printed on the bill to make a payment. Additional information on how to pay or appeal is included on the billing notice.
How to Pay:
Bills need to have their payment postmarked by the due date to avoid penalty and interest charges. The bill will have instructions on how and where to pay.
Property owners can pay their fire prevention fee from their bank account online at https://efile.boe.ca.gov/boe/login_choice.jsp. Feepayers can pay by credit card http://www.boe.ca.gov/elecsrv/payinternet.htm online or by calling 1-855-292-8931. Those who choose to pay by check or money order should include their fire feepayer account number in the memo section. Checks should be made payable to the State Board of Equalization
- Billings will be mailed by county in alphabetical order. See the schedule for Fiscal Year 2012-13 for more details.
- Fire prevention fee bills are officially referred to as a notice of determination
- If the property owner believes the fee is not due, they may submit a petition to CAL FIRE after receiving the bill from BOE. The petition must be submitted within 30 days from the date on the bill.
- The appeal (Fire Prevention Fee Petition for Redetermination) must be in writing and state the specific grounds upon which the petition is based. The petition form and mailing instructions can be found at: http://www.firepreventionfee.org/sra_appeals.php.
- CAL FIRE will review the petition and make a decision within 60 days. The BOE will also be notified and will send a revised billing or issue a refund if payments made were determined not to be due, based on CAL FIRE's decision.
- Filing of a petition does not prevent the accrual of interest. Property owners are advised to pay the fees while their petition is being considered by CAL FIRE. Payment is not an acknowledgment that the fees are due and does not in any way affect consideration of the petition.
- For more information on the appeals process, visit: http://www.firepreventionfee.org/.
For the latest information on the Fire Prevention Fee: Fire Prevention Fee
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