State imposes fire fee on county residents
El Dorado County officials are advising county residents that the State of California will soon begin issuing Fire Prevention Fee bills. Each property owner in State Responsibility area where Cal Fire provides fire protection will be assessed an annual $150 fee per habitable structure. A $35 reduction in the amount of the fee applies if the property is also located within a local fire district.
The new state fee was approved was approved by the Legislature and Governor last year. The State Board of Equalization is expected to begin issuing the first bills in August. Billing will proceed alphabetically by county name.
“Although El Dorado County is the 29th largest county in terms of population, we are the 4th largest in terms of Fire Fee bills due to the size of the State Responsibility Area,” said Terri Daly, Chief Administrative Officer. “This new state fee hits our residents hard, and has the potential to create a lot of confusion.”
Most of the populated areas of El Dorado County are already part of a local fire protection district. In most instances, local fire districts are the first responders to emergency calls. Neither the county nor local fire districts receive any additional funding through the State Fire Prevention Fee.
The state has established a website with additional information about the State Fire Prevention Fee: www.firepreventionfee.org. Residents are encouraged to contact the state with questions about their fee, applicable laws and regulations and the appeal process.