Sacramento, CA — Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a new $150 rural firefighting fee that will affect many households in the Mother Lode.
It was included in the new state budget, and is expected to be challenged in court. The $150 fire fee will be imposed on more than 846,000 homes in 31 million rural acres covered by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
“From what I’m gathering, this is a fee that will be paid by every household in Tuolumne County outside of the City of Sonora,” said County Administrator Craig Pedro on Mother Lode Views over the weekend. “This could be very controversial because many of our special districts have already passed special assessments of their own, and I’m sure they would not look very kindly on paying that additional fee.”
The Governor’s Office estimates that the fee will raise an estimated $50 million the first year, and ultimately $200 million annually.