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.”



If I’m paying $150 to get fire service in a rural area, then why is the money REALLY going to:

” … support wildfire prevention efforts, arson investigations, and other important Cal Fire programs”?!

This tells me that it does NOT require $150 per residence to provide fire SERVICE.

No, it costs $150 to RAISE REVENUE FOR THE STATE & to keep their fluffy programs going.

Because “wildfire prevention” does not do me a damn bit of good if my place is already on fire & neither do “arson investigations” & “other important Cal Fire programs.”

And, believe you me, fire departments around the country have already been caught refusing service to people who haven’t paid their protection $$$.

Keep your thinking caps on & always, always, always read all the way to the end of every news story, because that’s usually where the ZINGER is.


Interesting to note that this whole idea of charging user “fees” started with prop 13. We foolishly thought that by restricting their primary source of income (property tax) that would make them do a better job of budgeting (like normal conscionable people do). We totally underestimated the ability of those addicts to steal to feed their habit. Now we are, once again, paying the price.


Coincidentally, I received a letter from Katcho’s office today on this subject.

The letter drew attention to two issues:

1) Katcho co-authored a bill repealing this tax. The bill did not make it to the floor this, but it will likely have a hearing next year.

2) Katcho believes the tax is “legally dubious and would undoubtedly be challenged in the courts.”

What this means to me, is that the tax will get undone by congress, or by the courts. Either of which we the gen tax payers will fund.


So what is considered “rural”? Anything outside of city limits. Does this mean that Los Osos residents will be hit with another fee on top of the sewer? We already pay extra for fire protection.


It’s a severly flawed tax. I live in a Nipomo Neihborhood surrounded by houses, not brush and pay my property tax for fire protection from the county. Since my neihborhood is in SRA, I have to pay this new tax. My neihbors across the street don’t since they are just outside SRA land.

I am a firefighter and belive people in the urban interface should pay a little extra for building or buying in high risk areas, but people who live in a city or town with no exposure??? That is Definitly double taxation.


The extra tax for building or buying in high risk areas is a good idea. But you can call it what you want, it has to be paid for somehow.


This is so blatantly absurd. Do you realize how many tens of thousands expenses that benefit a small group of Californians, and yet are paid for by the whole population? (at least by those of us who pay taxes)

Let’s start with the most obvious. Why should a childless couple pay taxes that go to support schools when they don’t have any children that use them?

Why should I contribute towards the super train when I can’t use it?

Too many to list!

eradicate ignorance

I have no problem paying this. As typo said, it costs more to go out to the edge of the service areas.


Here we go again. All of the cons will be posting in droves,,, nanny state, gummit, etc.. If the fire dept. allowed the tea bag types homes to burn down because they didn’t want to pay the tax to support fire service in their area they’d be the first to scream.

It only makes sense. It cost more to receive fire service in the sticks, end of story.


I was on the fence with your answer. While I see your point, here is a problem with your analogy. So if we tax people who use a service more where do we stop? Do we charge elderly people more for ambulance or fire, as they get called to older people in need of assistance more?

It’s a slippery slope of who do you charge and for what? That is why you have a general tax across the board. Trust me I’m not happy that I rarely need or use fire protection vs someone in the sticks but where do we start and stop?????

I wish they had a maybe thumb I would give you that. Instead I’ll just leave it alone all together.


If you you follow that logic, then increased surcharges for:

1) A tax for Police services in rural areas – this is well known extra expense

2) Schools tax fees in rural areas (Buses, sports etc cost more)

3) Increased medical taxes on old people, they use disproportionately more medical services

4) Tax fees for roads, utilities for rural areas (cost more per person per square mile)

5) etc etc etc

What you are conveniently ignoring is that we are supposed to be equal for all people. One big pot for all of us.

Now let start talking the new city-folk fee

1) Extra taxes on the food that we rural folks provide and you can not grow on your cement sidewalks

2) The new tax on the firewood that was grown on my property so you can put in your fireplace on Christmas morning

3) The clean air that my rural property provides to offset your polluted city air. BTW, why aren’t you paying more taxes to clean the air in your dirty city?

4) Taxes on the water that falls on rural property all drains into SM lake so you can water your lawn?

5) Etc Etc Etc

Yeah, you’re right – that is all pretty silly. Just as silly and wrong as dinging me to provide 2 hr response time fire service by overpaid and overcompensated fire personnel.

Yours and Brown’s logic is absurd.


1) Police services aren’t as expensive as fire service and we already have a Sheriffs dept that pretty much covers rural areas as opposed to a city police dept.. Plus if you send out a cop to a ranch you’re not tying up the entire dept as you would be with a fire truck. But the cost can’t be compared.

2) Many school districts are either charging or getting rid of bus services. Not sure how sports in rural areas cost more. I drove and car pooled my kids to sporting events. The football teams and such don’t get picked up from their homes, the get dropped off and picked up at the schools so I don’t get that one.

3) That’s why we have Medicare. We are all taxed more for elder people but that’s okay with me. In general we can’t get more from them.

4 and 5) Apples and oranges.

You’re right, the rest of your post is pretty silly. The state is pretty much broke. Certain services have to be paid for. Can’t tax the rich, where do you think the money should come from. Everyone is broke, how do we pay for fire services in the country. Fire service in rural areas is disproportionally higher than it is in the the towns/cities.


Simple. You get yourself out of a mess by reversing and undoing what got you INTO the mess. Start rolling back public employee pay and benefits. They have out-paced private sector pay & benefits for so long that it has now come to the tipping point.

You predicted “here we go again”. That is because this problem is so pervasive that there is no getting away from or denying the truth about what has been done to us.


He can’t roll back their pay and benifits very much, that would be even worse for the economy. But he has gotten rid of many govt. workers. He has beening doing a lot of cutbacks, many that I don’t like, but I feel that he’s going to have to do things that a lot of people don’t like in order to save this state from going down even more and this is a good example of doing just that.


Excuse typos, very fast typing and not much thinking.


I totally agree with you.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, TQ. It’s been an interesting one, to say

the least.


I hope you have a great Christmas danika. I also hope that you are feeling better after your surgery. I’m sure 2012 will be better. Not trying to be political, I really mean this, I also hope that you have good med. insurance. Nothing like feeling like feeling physically bad and then getting crazy hospital bills, it’s truly insult to injury. Take care of yourself.


Actually, TQ, my insurance paid 100% of my recent surgery. I received the bill just last Friday.I am getting stronger with every day and able to do a bit more. I am hosting Christmas dinner at my home tomorrow and am looking forward to it as I spent Thanksgving in the hospital. I truly appreciate the well wishes and know you were sincere in your delivery of them.

To everyone reading, I wish you a joyous holiday, whatever you celebrate.


You may think the Tea Party are a bunch of rock heads, but Taxation Without Representation is what they’re fighting.

This “fee” is a thinly disguised tax.

Where do I sign up?


You may think the Tea Party are a bunch of rock heads

The tea party spokesman (Carson California) just called for the President and his FAMILY to be assassinated…..


here is a link


Nice. :(


I read that. I can’t believe in today’s world that he said that. Not doubting, just can’t believe what an idiot he is. I don’t care for Obama but I don’t think you need to start using derogatory remarks to express your dislike. I don’t personnelly care if the man is white, black, green or orange. I don’t like his politics but that has nothing to do with him personally. Again just his thinking.