Sacramento, CA…At the direction of CAL FIRE and as mandated by law, later this month, the California State Board of Equalization (BOE) will begin mailing fire prevention fee bills for Fiscal Year 2012-13 to owners of habitable structures located in the State Responsibility Area (SRA).
“I am disappointed that the Governor and Legislature failed to repeal this unfair and unconstitutional tax during the recent budget negotiations,” said Senator George Runner (Ret.), member of the State Board of Equalization. “Their failure to take action means that rural taxpayers will be forced to pay this regressive tax yet again.”
The BOE will update the billing schedule on its fire prevention fee website. Assembly Bill x1 29 was enacted on July 8, 2011, and requires the BOE to collect the fire prevention fee annually on behalf of CAL FIRE.
The Board of Forestry adopted new SRA boundary lines in May that will exclude some property owners from fee assessment in the Fiscal Year 2013-14 billing cycle. Mailings of those billings are expected to start in the spring of 2014. According to CAL FIRE, the SRA boundary changes adopted for Fiscal Year 2013-14 do not affect the billings being mailed for Fiscal Year 2012-13. Billing recipients within the SRA during Fiscal Year 2012-13 must pay the fees for that billing cycle.
Bill recipients who believe they should not have received a fire prevention fee bill should file an appeal, which is referred to as a petition for redetermination (petition). A petition must be filed within 30 days of the date printed on the bill. Visit the fire prevention fee web page for a copy of the petition form. Feepayers may wish to consider paying the full amount to avoid interest charges while CAL FIRE processes their appeal.
Feepayers with questions about the fire prevention fee program or the appeals process should contact the Fire Prevention Fee Service Center at 1-888-310-6447.
Feepayers with payment-related questions may call the BOE at 1-800-400-7115 and select “fire prevention fee” for assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except state holidays.
More information: www.boe.ca.gov/taxprograms/fire_prevention_fee_resource.htm and www.calfirefee.com.
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Elected in November 2010, George Runner represents the State Board of Equalization’s Second District. He is a leading advocate for California taxpayers. Runner has worked to improve California’s tax policies and practices and to create and retain more private sector jobs in our state. Prior to his election to the Board, Runner served twelve years in the State Legislature, authoring the well-known California Amber Alert and California’s Blue Alert. As a thoughtful conservative, his legislative priorities included improving the economy, business growth, education excellence, and public safety for all Californians. As a member of the Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee, Runner consistently led the fight against tax increases and supported tax relief for families and businesses.
The five-member California State Board of Equalization (BOE) is a publicly elected tax board. The BOE collects more than $53.7 billion annually in taxes and fees supporting state and local government services. It hears business tax appeals, acts as the appellate body for franchise and personal income tax appeals, and serves a significant role in the assessment and administration of property taxes. For more information on other taxes and fees in California, visit www.taxes.ca.gov.