State Responsibility Area (SRA) Fire Prevention Benefit Fee

The "State Responsibility Area (SRA) Fire Prevention Benefit Fee" was enacted by the State of California on July 7th of 2011 (via Assembly Bill X1 29).  Inyo County has a strong and on-going opposition to these fees.

The annual fee, which is $150 per habitable structure (i.e., meaning a building that can be occupied for residential use), is being assessed by the State of California as a way to pay for fire prevention services within SRAs, which are typically rural areas where the State of California is financially responsible for the prevention and suppression of wildfires.   Habitable structures that are located within both an SRA and a local fire district are allowed a $35 reduction in the annual $150 fee.  The person/entity responsible for paying the annual fee is the person/entity identified as the "owner of record" on July 1st of each year.  The State Board of Equalization expects bills (i.e., for Fiscal Year 2011-2012, which was from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012) to be sent out over a period of about 4 months, starting in August of 2012; payment of the fee is due within 30 days.

There is a process for appeal of the fee (known as a "Petition for Redetermination"), which will be detailed and mailed with the bills.  Appeals are processed through the Department of Forestry & Fire Protection.  It should be noted that appeals must be filed with the Department of Forestry & Fire Protection within 30 days of receiving a bill, with a decision on the appeal made by the Department within 60 days of receipt of the appeal.

Additional fee information (including a "sample bill") can be found below, at the "California Fire Prevention Fee Information " link.  Other information, including Inyo County SRA maps, can also be found below.