October 31, 2014

State Requires Homeowners to Pay Fire Prevention Fee

 

Most Topanga property owners have received advance notification from the Board of Equalization (BOE) regarding a recently enacted state law, ABX1 29 (Blumenfield), that requires owners of habitable structures located within the State’s Responsibility Area (SRA) to pay an annual fee. Notification will be followed by a bill notifying them about the new fire prevention fee.

Property owners may be required to pay as much as $150 per habitable structure, but could receive a $35 reduction for each one located within the boundaries of a local fire protection agency.

Existing law requires that the state have the primary financial responsibility for preventing and suppressing fires in areas that the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection (Board) has determined are SRAs.

The fees are to be deposited into the SRA Fire Prevention Fund to be used by the Board and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF), for specified fire prevention, such as brush clearance, and protection activities in SRAs.

Property owners have 30 days from the date posted on the bill to make a payment that must be postmarked by the due date to avoid penalty and interest charges. Additional information on how to pay or appeal is included on the billing notice.

There are approximately 19,000 fee payers in Los Angeles.