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

    Protection

    P.O. Box 944246

    Sacramento, CA 94244