You received a state fire tax bill. Now what?

 

State officials recently sent another round of fire tax bills to thousands of rural and semi-rural property owners in San Diego County, despite an on-going lawsuit and broad opposition to the levy.

Supervisor Jacob remains a critic of the tax, noting that homeowners already pay a wealth of property taxes and special local fees for fire protection. In addition, San Diego County spent more than $20 million in Fiscal Year 2013-14 to support rural fire protection.

“The tax effectively punishes homeowners who are already doing their part to pay for services in our fire-prone backcountry,” she said.

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association continues to pursue a lawsuit challenging the 2-year-old levy. The association and the Supervisor advise property owners to pay the annual tax, but to also file a protest in case the suit prevails and refunds are issued.

Those interested in challenging their bill should follow the process below, even if they previously filed a protest:

Protesting your bill:

  • Pay it within the 30-day due date and write “UNDER PROTEST” on the notation line of your check.
  • Before mailing the check, go to www.firetaxprotest.org and click on “Refund.” Download, print and complete the petition to challenge the fee.
  • Send your check to the address on the bill or to:

Special Taxes and Fees Remittance Processing
State Board of Equalization
PO Box 942881
Sacramento, CA 94279-2525

  • Send your petition, along with a copy of your check, to :

Fire Prevention Fee Service Center
Attn: Petitions
P.O. Box 2254
Suisun City, CA 94585

For more information, go to firetaxprotest.org.