Rural fire fees due soon

December 23, 2011

In little more than a week, thousands of San Luis Obispo County rural residents will be nailed by a $150 “fire prevention fee” levied by the state of California and criticized by opponents as unnecessary and illegal. [SFChronicle]

Gov. Jerry Brown proposed the fee during the last legislative session and lawmakers approved it in order to generate new revenues of tens of millions of dollars for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The fee applies to residential and other habitable structures in rural areas throughout the state.

Cal Fire officials estimate 800,000 such structures exist on land where it provides fire service.

Southern California urban areas are stretching into wildland areas, and the landscape creates a high risk for devastating wildfires.

“This funding is vital to support wildfire prevention efforts, arson investigations, and other important Cal Fire programs,” said Elizabeth Ashford, spokeswoman for Brown, adding that “31 million acres in California are protected by Cal Fire.”



  1. fhill123 says:

    Let me remember, “taxation without representation”. Weren’t those words uttered a while back?

    (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  2. Mr. Holly says:

    This is only the beginning. Next will it be that people in rural areas will be paying additional fees for county roads because they have to drive further? Will permit fees be increased because of the additional travel times for inspectors? This is just getting their foot in the door to increase taxes and/or fees on all of the services that we are ALREADY paying for.
    Remember these people in 2012. It’s only $120,000,000. I wonder how much of this will go towards “administration?’ If there are no fires do you think there will be anything left at the end of the year. I’ll say it will be business as usual and there will be nothing left.

    (12) 12 Total Votes - 12 up - 0 down
  3. oto says:

    “…said Elizabeth Ashford, spokeswoman for Brown, adding that “31 million acres in California are protected by Cal Fire.”

    Since 51% of California is owned by the Federal Government (Ca. has a heck of a lot of Federal Forest land, grazing land and wilderness area,) I wonder if Federal wilderness area is included in the 31 million acres Ms. Ashford is talking about. That brings me to the question, “Who fights fires on Federal forest land? State firefighters or Federally employed firefighters, or both?”

    Unfortunately, I’ve lived in places where there is more pavement than open space, so I know little about the various fire agencies that protect us. Anyone out there know the different levels of fire agencies, for town and city fire; county fire protection; state agency fire protection; and fire protection on Federal lands?

    (God forbid, I should end up channeling that dastardly blogger/fireman/motocycle dude, whathisname for an answer on this….)

    (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  4. mrcyberdoc says:

    Wow, I just had a thought (yes, it does happen now and then) and perhaps this has been addressed somewhere else. BUT, could it be the state wants this money to fight the wildfires that plague the state every year? The costs can go up into the millions. Hasn’t much to do with protecting high population areas, but outhouses in the middle of nowhere!

    (-5) 7 Total Votes - 1 up - 6 down
  5. slojustice says:

    I happen to live in one of these areas. I think this tax is totally absurd. I already pay higher insurance to live where I do. I fully understand unlike those that live in the city that if my house catches on fire it is going to burn to the ground. Cal Fire is so understaffed and there response times are incredibly slow. This tax is just a way to increase revenue for our state which is broke. And I believe that those folks in Malibu and Santa Barbara whose houses seem to burn every ten years do not have to pay this fee because they have county fire departments. Hey Typo how about the state stop wasting money. Pretty soon we are going to have more people not working and sucking off the system then are working. I love it that you pick on the tea party who only want the government to live within there means. This state wastes money and the people need to be more self reliant and not count on the government for everything. Brown is selling us a bunch of crap.

    (18) 28 Total Votes - 23 up - 5 down
    • Ted Slanders says:


      “I already pay higher insurance to live where I do.”

      Paying higher insurance, and the act of putting out your fire will now cost you $150.00, are mutually exclusive concepts. Since you denigrate Cal Fire in their response times, and you know your home is going to burn to the ground, then its seems as though paying these fees is useless! But, what would your home fire insurance company think if you didn’t? Would they honor your insurance in the way of the contents of your home? I think not.

      Correct me if I am wrong, but don’t you pay LESSOR property taxes living in a rural area, than within a city? It all comes out in the wash.

      “This state wastes money and the people need to be more self reliant and not count on the government for everything. Brown is selling us a bunch of crap.”

      Your current situation in being under rural fire protection, is in fact, SOCIALISTIC! Therefore, as an assumed Tea Party alumni, I am sure you’re against this entity as well? You’re in a catch-22 situation if you defy paying this extra fee, aren’t you?

      So, if you want to practice what you preach in the area of “people need to be more self-reliant”, then being in a rural area, why don’t you put in a 50,000 gallon water storage unit, and a pump to produce at least 100 pounds of pressure?

      Subsequent to this action, you can provide your own fire protection, if you’re home at the time, and not be a hypocrite at the same time to your beliefs, yes?

      (-6) 34 Total Votes - 14 up - 20 down
      • slojustice says:

        Hey ted,
        I pay the same for property taxes that folks that live in town, but I recieve very little in services compared to someone who lives in town. I pump my own water, handle my own sewage and pretty much it is left to me to protect myself because the Sheriff is understaffed as well. My property taxes already pays for my fire protection. If this fee is levied I highly doubt my level of service is going to increase. As for your comment that rural fire protection is socialistic you expose yourself for being ill informed. The true purpose of government is to provide for what the citizens cannot provide for themselves. Such as fire, police,roads and common defense. I do not vote on what government can provide for me, I vote for the future of our representative republic. I am tired of paying for people not to work.

        (11) 27 Total Votes - 19 up - 8 down
        • Typoqueen says:

          “I am tired of paying for people not to work”

          Yeah, you and the Newt. I get your point, I’m with you, scr#w them, let them eat cake. We can get those poor kids to clean the rich kids bathrooms at the schools so they can earn their lunches. How about we get those old people living off of the govt. that pesky 70-90 year old group living off of SS, lets have them clean the bathrooms of the rich people at country clubs,,great way to help wealthy people save more money. When some single mom gets laid off after working on a job for 10 years, there are plenty of bridges that she can take her kids to live under. Oh yeah, I hear you loud and clear.

          Aww yes, another ‘compassionate conservative’,, now that’s an oxymoron.

          (-11) 35 Total Votes - 12 up - 23 down
          • standup says:

            Oh, jeez Typo, give it a break. Here, I’ll say it. I hate blood sucking liberals who love a huge government that try to control every aspect of our lives. I hate blood sucking liberals that would rather spend money on a nice car than on health insurance because they know the government will pay for any hospital bills. You know what this country should do? Put a line right down the center and put liberals on one side and conservatives on the other. Not long after that, one side will look like North Korea. I don’t need to explain which side that would be.

            (9) 33 Total Votes - 21 up - 12 down
            • Typoqueen says:

              What you say means nothing. You hate liberals, you hate people of color bla bla bla. Take Texas, shoot guns in the air at weddings and don’t allow any brown people to live in your country of Texas. With your leader David Duke you can have no laws and no govt., just leaders. Many of us don’t want your type. Just keep your fascist racist country closed off so we can have a nice clean, happy, economically sound country, we don’t want to be polluted with your type. Aww, what a perfect world that would be.

              (-8) 28 Total Votes - 10 up - 18 down
              • BeenThereDoneThat says:

                Here is your probem as usual typo. You can’t make arguements, so you accuse those who don’t agree with you (like Standup) of being racist etc. Perhaps it is you in your ignorance that is racist in how you charactorize Texas. You act like they are a bunch of dump hics that don’t like hispanics. Have you heard the term Tejono’s?? Usually associate with Texas and large Hispanic population.

                As of last Census Texas has 37.6% Hispanic population.

                Now I know that you can’t handle statistics or facts and will probably come back with some kind of drivel but there it is in black and white. Opps I said black. Now I’m a racist.

                (6) 16 Total Votes - 11 up - 5 down
                • Dexter says:

                  Maybe not a racist but definately a pin head

                  (-4) 18 Total Votes - 7 up - 11 down
                • BeenThereDoneThat says:

                  Hi Typo. I saw the post before it was erased. I understand.

                  (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
                • zaphod says:

                  the more you stir a turd the more it stinks.

                  (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
                • Typoqueen says:

                  Thanks for letting me know that you saw it.

                  (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
        • standup says:

          Actually you don’t pay the same. I know for a fact that I pay extra for a school bond that adds tax. I also know for a fact that I am in a lighting district in town here that pays for the street lights that you enjoy when you come in to town at dark. The tax also covers the poor boys who have to mow the stupid green strip that wastes a ton of water that I pay for through this tax. Hell no, I don’t like it. I think everyone should pay the same tax whether you make $1/hour or $100/hour. That way neither libbies or cons could complain about about something not being taxed fair.

          (-1) 13 Total Votes - 6 up - 7 down
          • BeenThereDoneThat says:

            It’s funny you mention the street light/parkway tax. I forgot about that. Where I live I pay that. It costs us $400.00 (roughly) a year.

            (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
            • BeenThereDoneThat says:

              I’m sure typo will still say us evil con’s still don’t pay our fair share.

              (4) 8 Total Votes - 6 up - 2 down
              • Typoqueen says:

                Well, if you’re a millionaire and not paying taxes then you’re probably right, if you’re not a millionaire then you are a pawn for the millionaires. Somehow I think you fall into the second catigory.

                (-7) 15 Total Votes - 4 up - 11 down
                • BeenThereDoneThat says:

                  But wait!!!! You said further down in thread that the people living in rural areas should pay this fire tax. Do you think they are all millionaires? Do you think they aren’t paying their fair share?

                  Also paying this fire tax, how do the millionairs play into it?

                  (7) 11 Total Votes - 9 up - 2 down
                • Typoqueen says:

                  You are comparing two different issues. We are talking about covering the cost to provide fire service to rural areas, not taxes and tax loopholes regarding the wealthy. What do you suggest? I can’t stand when people bitch and moan but don’t have any solutions. Brown’s cutting waste, he’s laying people off so what do you suggest? After the checker at the market rings up all your groceries you can’t say, ‘well I’ll cut back at home, stop giving the kids allowances, stop going to the movies so now give my groceries’. They have to be paid for right then or you don’t get the groceries. It sounds like we need the money now to pay for fire service. It cost more in rural areas so they need to pay more. If the state weren’t in such dire straights then I’d agree that we shouldn’t raise their taxers to pay for fire service. The cost of things keep going up and the money has to come from somewhere. You guys are never willing to take into account the cost of living unless it’s on your own paycheck.

                  I think that scapegoat came up with a good idea regarding this. Perhaps initial charge to those that build or buy in a high risk areas. At least it’s a good or creative idea to solve the problem instead of just bagging on libs and going on on with silly anti govt. rantings.

                  (-7) 11 Total Votes - 2 up - 9 down
                • BeenThereDoneThat says:

                  I have the solution typo. We need to go back to the way California was a be more business friendly. In my 48 years as a native Californian, I have watched us go from a high of business in the late 70’s and early 80’s to a low of now.

                  There has been a mass exodus in the last twenty years as people figured we just keep taxing business forever and they will take it. Well were are they now?? Offshore. I’m not saying they should be given a free ride but when they were here we had many paying something that all added up. Now we have few paying a lot and what do we have?

                  Also we did the same to individuals. We lost a great amount of money earners (i.e. taxpayers) to other states in the last twenty years as we got more influx of people who don’t provide, looking for a hand out. Well what do you think would happen? Well you are seeing the effects now.

                  Also I’m not saying all programs but a lot of programs we have here in Ca. are still some of the most generous in the nation. Hence we have poor from all over the U.S. that have come to Ca. I’m not making this up, check the internet. Why should it be your’s and my issue to take care of everybody? Let’s let a lot of other states share the burden. We probably take the highest number of immigrants in the U.S. Do you see other states pitching in? These are problems that didn’t exist 30 years ago. Connect the dots and this is why we are where we are today.

                  (7) 11 Total Votes - 9 up - 2 down
        • Ted Slanders says:


          You do NOT pay the same property taxes as if your property was in the city!!! Take the size of your property, the square footage of your home, and with the most simplest of math, if this aggregate was placed within the city limits of San Luis Obispo, you would pay considerably more! lol

          “My property taxes already pays for my fire protection. If this fee is levied I highly doubt my level of service is going to increase.”

          As we’re aware, our state is in a major fiscal crisis. In every department, cuts have been made. The revenue generated by this $150.00 fee allows Cal Fire to operate as they have in the past. This fee will help prevent further cuts from being made to the department’s budget. We’re all paying extra for the bank and Wall Street debacle, so join the club!

          By the mere fact of you stating that your fire fees are within your property taxes, substantiates the FACT that it is Socialism paying for your fire protection! Get it? EVERYONE in the county pays property taxes, therefore, EVERYONE is paying into a fund for YOUR fire protection through distribution, and exchange owned by the community collectively! Pure Socialism!

          “The true purpose of government is to provide for what the citizens cannot provide for themselves. Such as fire, police,roads and common defense. “

          All of the entities mentioned above are paid through SOCIALISTIC means! PERIOD!

          “I am tired of paying for people not to work.”

          Yes indeed, it’s terrible since the economy has hit the dumpster because of corportae greed, isn’t it? Paying, in part, for these unemployed is just ludicrous! To no fault of their own, we as a society should not help them in any way whatsoever, says slojustice! Let em starve, let em eat cake, let me sleep under bridges!


          Jesus said; “All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.” Galatians 2:10

          Jesus said: “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. Protect the rights of all who are helpless.” ( Proverbs 31:8)

          “For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’ (Deuteronomy 15:11)

          I suggest that if you’re an “assumed Christian”, of which most are, that you stay out of your church of choice from this time hence, for the possible calamity of the roof falling in upon your person if you entered! Especially after taking the position that you did against your fellow man! Disgraceful!

          (2) 16 Total Votes - 9 up - 7 down

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