By now, everyone in the Central Coast has received their SRA Fire Prevention Fee billing. Those of us who paid it under protest and filed a petition for reimbursement (as of November 30, 2012, 47,292 property owners appealed the fee) are now getting their responses from the Fire Prevention Fee Service Center.
Don’t be alarmed if your petition is denied because “The Petition does not state a statutory basis upon which the Department may grant approval of the Petition under Public Resources Code Section 4210 et seq.”
According to the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA), this means CDF does not have the authority to make this determination. It must be done in court. HJTA has filed their lawsuit, which is the next step in the process. CCFA will keep you posted on developments as they arise.
The noncompliance rate for this fee is several times higher that the Board of Equalization expected, as 20 to 25 percent of those billed have expressed their anger by refusing to pay at all. The BOE normally sees a 3 percent noncompliance rate.
For further information, see www.firetaxprotest.org.