Next round of state fire tax bills hitting mailboxes
State officials plan to send out the next round of fire tax bills this fall, despite a class-action lawsuit and widespread opposition to the statewide levy.
The bills will be mailed to thousands of rural and semi-rural property owners in San Diego County beginning Sept. 25, according to the state.
Supervisor Jacob remains an outspoken critic of the $150 tax, noting that homeowners already pay a wealth of property taxes and special local fees for fire protection. In addition, San Diego County spends more than $19 million annually to augment 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 has filed a class-action 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 latest bill should follow the process below, even if they previously filed a protest, according to Cal Fire.
How to protest 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 and petition to: Board of Equalization, P.O. Box 942879, Sacramento, CA 94279.
- Send copies of the petition and the check to these two addresses within the tax bill’s 30-day due date:
Fire Prevention Petitions
P.O. Box 2254,
Suisun City, CA 94585
Board of Forestry and Fire
P.O. Box 944246
Sacramento, CA 94244