Fire Prevention Fee
What Is the Fire Prevention Fee?
- The Fire Prevention Fee is an annual fee for fire prevention services that owners of habitable structures in the State’s Responsibility Area (SRA) are required by law to pay. The SRA is the area of the state where the State of California is financially responsible for the prevention and suppression of wildfires. The SRA does not include lands within incorporated city boundaries or federally owned land. You can see if your property is in the SRA by looking up your address here CAL FIRE - Fire Prevention Fee SRA Parcel Map.
When Will I Receive My Fire Fee Bill?
- Billings will be mailed by county in alphabetical order. See the schedule for Fiscal Year 2013-14 for more details.
How Do I Pay My Bill?
Bills are due 30 days from the date printed on the bill. Your payment must be postmarked by the due date to avoid penalty and interest charges. The bill contains instructions about how and where to pay. This is what a bill looks like: Sample of a Board of Equalization (BOE) Notice of Determination
BOE has these convenient, simple, and secure methods to make a payment:
- You can make a payment electronically by having the funds electronically withdrawn from your bank account. To make a payment, log in with your User ID or Express Login. There is no fee to use this service. You will need the following bank account information: bank routing number, bank account number, and account type - checking or savings.
- You can also pay by credit card over the Internet or by calling 1-855-292-8931 (phone number will be operational on April 1, 2013). If paying by credit card, a service fee of 2.3% of the transaction amount will be charged by the credit card processing vendor, Official Payments Corporation (OPC). This fee is retained by the vendor and is not revenue to the BOE. The minimum fee is $1.00.
- If you choose to pay the fee by check, make it payable to the State Board of Equalization and write your account number in the check memo. Mail the upper portion of the bill, along with your payment, in the enclosed self-addressed envelope. Make sure to put a postage stamp on the envelope. If you do not have the envelope, mail your payment to: Special Taxes and Fees Remittance Processing, State Board of Equalization, PO Box 942879, Sacramento, CA 94279-0001
- The BOE offers a payment plan to help feepayers pay the amount due. To request a payment plan online, visit the BOE website at www.boe.ca.gov and select "Online Services" then the "Payment Plan" tab. You can additionally contact our collection staff to inquire about a payment plan at 1-800-400-7115. Staff is available Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Pacific Time, excluding State holidays.
How Much is the Fee?
- The Board of Forestry and Fire Protection adjusts the fee annually. It is currently $152.33 per habitable structure located within an SRA. If the habitable structure is also within the boundaries of a local agency that provides fire protection services, the property owner will receive a $35.00 reduction for each habitable structure.
- Approximately 97% of habitable structures in the SRA are covered by a local fire protection agency resulting in most bills amounting to $117.33 per habitable structure.
- For historical rates regarding the Fire Prevention Fee, please visit the rate table.
Who Determines Who Pays the Fee?
Each year, CAL FIRE provides the Board of Equalization (BOE) a list of owners of habitable structures required to pay and the amount of fee(s) to be assessed on each structure. The BOE then issues the billings and collects the fees.
The list of fee payers includes the owners of record of habitable structures, such as apartment buildings, detached houses, duplexes, mobile homes, etc., on July 1 of the fiscal year for which the fee is due. Habitable structures do NOT include incidental buildings such as detached garages, barns, outdoor sanitation facilities and sheds.
How Do I Appeal the Fee?
If you believe you do not owe the fee, you may submit an appeal to CAL FIRE (known as a petition for redetermination) after you receive the bill from BOE.
- The appeal must be submitted within 30 days from the date printed on the bill.
- The appeal (Fire Prevention Fee Petition for Redetermination) must be in writing and describe the specific grounds upon which you are basing the appeal. The form and mailing instructions can be found at the Fire Prevention Fee Website
- CAL FIRE will review and make a decision on the appeal within 60 days from the time they receive the appeal. The BOE will be notified of the decision, and send a revised billing or issue a refund if CAL FIRE determines the payments made are not due.
IMPORTANT! The filing of an appeal does not prevent accrual of interest. You are advised to pay the fees while CAL FIRE considers your appeal. Paying the fee does not, in any way, affect consideration of your appeal.
Who Can I Contact with Questions?
If you have questions regarding the Fire Prevention Fee program, please contact the Fire Prevention Fee Service Center at the following address or telephone number:
Fire Prevention Fee Service Center
P.O. Box 2254
Suisun City, CA 94585
Fire Prevention Fee Website
If you have questions regarding the collection process of this fee, please contact Special Taxes and Fees at the following address or telephone number:
Special Taxes and Fees, MIC: 88
State Board of Equalization
P.O. Box 942879
Sacramento, CA 94279-0088
1-800-400-7115 (TTY: 711)
Where Can I Find More Information?
- Frequently Asked Questions from the BOE
- Frequently Asked Questions from CAL FIRE
- Additional Fire Prevention Fee Information from the BOE
- Assembly Bill (AB) x1 29 Fire Prevention Fee
- California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE)
- Board of Forestry and Fire Protection
- California Fire Prevention Fee Information