Special Taxes and Fees
Fire Prevention Fee – Frequently Asked Questions
What is a habitable structure?
A habitable structure is a building that can be occupied for residential use, including single family homes, apartment buildings, mobile, and manufactured homes. Habitable structures do not include detached garages, barns, or sheds.
Who is responsible for paying the fee?
Owners of habitable structures, whose names are on the records of the county assessor or the Department of Housing and Community Development on July 1 of the fiscal year, for which the fee is due.
The fee does not apply to habitable structures located on land within city boundaries or in federal ownership. It also does not apply to non-habitable structures located in the SRA boundary.
How does the bill process work?
There are no returns or reports to file. Each year, CAL FIRE provides the Board of Equalization (BOE) a list of fee payers and the amount of fee(s) to be assessed. The BOE then issues the bills and collects the fees.
What if I cannot pay my liability in full?
You may enter into a Payment Plan and make monthly payments. Please call 1-800-400-7115, Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Pacific Time for more information.
After the due date of the bill (Notice of Determination), a penalty of 10% is automatically imposed and interest accrues on any unpaid portion of the fee. You may be relieved of that penalty if you enter into a payment plan within 45 days of the due date on the bill, and you successfully complete the payment plan. When a payment plan is completed, the penalty will be automatically waived.
If your appeal (petition) is denied or the adjustment results in a fee amount due, you will have 30 days from the date of the Notice of Redetermination to pay. If any remaining fee balance is not paid within 30 days, a penalty will begin to accrue at the rate of 20% of the unpaid fee determined to be due for each 30 day period in which the fee remains unpaid. There is no statutory provision that allows for relief of this penalty.
Please note that the filing of a petition does not prevent the accrual of interest. You may wish to remit payment of the fee portion of your billing while your petition is being considered by CAL FIRE. Payment is not an acknowledgment by you that the fees are due, and does not in any way affect consideration of your petition.
For more information on the appeals process, visit: http://www.firepreventionfee.org/.
The fee is due from the owner of record, of a habitable structure, on July 1st of the fiscal year in which the fee is due. If you are no longer in the SRA boundaries, you will not be billed for that fiscal year.
The fee is due from the owner of record, of a habitable structure, on July 1st of the fiscal year in which the fee is due. Accordingly, for the fiscal year 2012/13, the fee is due from the person who owned the habitable structure on July 1, 2012. Since the changes to the SRA boundaries were not approved until May 2013, the changes do not affect the 2012/13 billing cycle. However, the change will affect subsequent billing cycles.