Sacramento — The State of California has been going back and forth on the details of a new fire tax impacting rural homeowners.
The California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection approved a $150 fee yesterday for homeowners in the State Responsibility Area for CAL Fire. In August the fire board had scaled down the fee to $90, which would have fallen well short of the revenues that the state had hoped to receive from the new tax.
“It is outrageous that the Fire Board voted to increase the fire tax to the maximum of $150,” says Kristin Olsen, 25th District Assembly member. “There is no guarantee that services will be increased for those who pay this tax and the new revenues that the fire tax will generate will not boost existing firefighting resources.”
A majority of property owners impacted will receive a $35 discount for living within a fire district. Most homeowners in Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties will be subject to the new tax.
Olsen says Governor Brown appointed four new members to the Fire Board in October which helped shift the balance to a new $150 fee.