Rural residents to pay higher fire fee
November 11, 2011
Rural homeowners in San Luis Obispo County will be helping the state pay for fire prevention and protection with a $150 fee approved this week by a state board stacked with new appointees of Gov. Jerry Brown.
Brown has said he believes California has incurred higher costs for providing such protection because of rapidly-accelerating suburban growth on previously rural properties.
The Board of Forestry and Fire Protection approved a much lower fee last summer, which did not please the governor, who is seeking to raise $50 million annually through the assessment.
And after Brown’ efforts to raise the fees legislatively were torpedoed, he used his executive power to remodel the board with four new Democrats, and went back for a vote. This time, the higher fee proposal passed 6-2.
Most property owners will receive a $35 discount for living in a fire district; an estimated 90 percent of structures qualify for that savings.