The Fire Fee is an illegal tax that should ultimately be repealed….”
Clears Legislative Hurdle
State Assemblyman Jay Obernolte (R-Hesperia)
announced that his Assembly Bill 288 Fire Fee Due Date Extension Bill passed out of the Assembly
Committee on Natural Resources. Assembly Bill 288 would extend the
payment due date of the Fire Prevention Fee from 30 days to 60 days to give
rural homeowners in California more time to pay or dispute this fee.
“The Fire Fee is an
illegal tax that should ultimately be repealed. I am encouraged that the
pending court case against it will likely be heard this Summer and I am hopeful
that the judge will strike down the FEE.
In the meantime, this bill will provide much-needed relief to rural and fixed
income homeowners who are given little time to pay or dispute the fee,”
Assemblyman Obernolte said. “AB 288 also includes an amnesty program which
would help families who have struggled to pay the fire fee on time in the
Fire Fee Fire Fee was created to address a $50 million budget deficit in the
2011 budget Bill. Currently, CalFire is charged with identifying households in
State Responsibility Areas of fire protection and the Board of Equalization
sends these homeowners the fire fee bills on a rolling basis with a due date of
30 days from the postmark. The assessment often comes unexpectedly, giving
homeowners little time to plan for the payment. Assembly Bill 288’s 60-day
extension will help solve this problem.
addition, AB 288 proposes an amnesty program to take effect in 2019, providing
a six-month window where penalties and interest will be waived to assist
homeowners in paying or disputing the fee.
Bill 288 will next be referred to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.
Jay Obernolte represents the 33rd Assembly District, which includes
the San Bernardino County communities of Adelanto, Apple Valley, Baker,
Barstow, Big Bear City, Big Bear Lake, Big River, Crestline, Fort Irwin,
Hesperia, Johnson Valley, Lake Arrowhead, Lenwood, Lucerne Valley, Needles, Oak
Hills, Phelan, Running Springs, Silver Lakes, Trona, Twentynine Palms Base,
Twin Peaks and Victorville.