Assemblyman Obernolte Introduces Bill to Ease FIRE FEE Due Dates

Today January 11th in Sacramento, Assemblyman Jay Obernolte (R-Big Bear Lake) introduced a bill to provide relief to rural California homeowners. Assembly Bill 1642 extends the deadline to pay or dispute a fire prevention fee to 60 days, rather than the 30 days allowed under existing law.

“Residents in rural communities are not given nearly enough time to pay or protest their fire prevention fees under the existing deadline,” Obernolte said. “While I am ultimately hopeful the courts will rule that this fee is illegal and strike it down, for now this bill will provide necessary relief to these homeowners.”

The Fire Prevention Fee affects rural residents in communities throughout California and AB 1642 has received bipartisan support. One co-author on the bill is Senator Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg). "It's only fair to give residents more time to appeal these fire fees. In many cases, homeowners are already paying into their local fire districts, in addition to the SRA fee, and this legislation can help ease the financial burden of millions across California," said Senator McGuire.

 According to the California Board of Equalization (BOE), many property owners have expressed concern that the 30-day deadline does not allow them sufficient time to either pay or file a petition. If a taxpayer misses the filing deadline to appeal the assessment, they must first pay the fee in full and file a claim for a refund. California would join 20 other states that give homeowners at least 60 days to file a petition.

   Assembly Bill 1642 gives homeowners an additional 

30 days to pay or dispute the tax


Assemblyman Jay Obernolte in the Assembly Chambers  

“It’s still my belief that the fire fee is an illegal and burdensome tax on rural property owners,” said Board of Equalization Vice-Chair George Runner. “Pending a court decision, it makes sense to provide some relief to rural property owners by increasing the payment due date to a more reasonable time frame.”