800,000 Californians to Receive Fire Protection Bills

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – More than 800,000 Californians who own property in wildfire country will begin receiving bills this week for a new annual fire-protection fee. It’s prompting outrage among rural residents and a likely lawsuit seeking to overturn the surcharge. The fee is projected to raise $84 million for fire-prevention efforts. The annual charge can run as high as $150 for property owners with a single occupied dwelling. However, most will get a $35 discount because they already pay a local fire protection tax. The bills start going out Monday to those who own property within the 31 million rural acres covered by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Soon after the bills go out, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association plans to file a lawsuit to have the fee declared unconstitutional.

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