Cal Fire State Responsibility Area (SRA) Fees
A law signed by Gov. Brown in 2011 imposes an annual fee assessed to rural residents living in "State Responsibility Areas." The charge per habitable dwelling is supposedly to cover fire prevention services. The California Farm Bureau Federation, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA) and other organizations believe that this fee places an undue burden on rural residents.
Farm Bureau members are encouraged to visit the HJTA website where they will find a "Petition for Redetermination" that is pre-checked as to the reason and includes a page explaining the constitutional basis for the petition. Use this form and file it within 30 days of submitting the fee payment; those who object to the fee should fill out the petition and submit copies to each of the following:
- Special Taxes Remittance Processing, State Board of Equalization, P.O. Box 942879, Sacramento, CA 94279-6199
- Fire Prevention Fee Service Center, Attn: Petitions, P.O. Box 2254, Suisun City, CA 94585
- Board of Forestry and Fire Protection, P.O. Box 944246, Sacramento, CA 94244
HJTA has filed a lawsuit to challenge the legality of the SRA fee. To learn more, visit firetaxprotest.org.
Below is a sample letter for reference when protesting the fee:
Special Taxes Remittance Processing, State Board of Equalization
P.O. Box 942879
Sacramento, CA 94279-6199
Fire Prevention Fee Service Center
P.O. Box 2254
Suisun City, CA 94585
Board of Forestry and Fire Protection
P.O. Box 944246
Sacramento, CA 94244
RE: Strong Opposition to SRA Tax-Paying under Protest!
To Whom It May Concern,
We are only paying this tax (you call it a fee) under duress of a state tax lien and possible property confiscation.
We strongly oppose and protest paying any Fire Prevention Taxes issued by the State Board of Equalization (BOE) on behalf of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE).
This is an unconstitutional tax because Article XIIIA of the California Constitution requires that new taxes be approved by two-thirds of the membership of both houses of the Legislature. Because the money from this charge will not be redirected to local jurisdictions proportionate to their direct charge, there is no way to ensure that I will receive any direct benefit from the payment of this bill. Thus, this charge is a tax, and because it has not been properly approved by two-thirds of the Legislature, it is illegal. We intend to support any legal action(s) taken by any organization(s) opposing this illegal taxation.
Paid Under Protest,