The first fire fee was attempted under the Schwarzenegger administration when the Legislative Analyst’s Office suggested such a fee could have constitutional issues.
So the Legislature, at the time, modified its bill to charge fire insurance companies instead, knowing perfectly well the fee would be passed through to homeowners. The bill became law and, yes, you are paying it today. That fee, by the way, is far more substantial than the one being talked about today.
The Legislature got away with that “shell game,” so, after letting a little time pass, it took another run at us with an illegal fee to pay for something we already pay for with property taxes and a pass-through fire insurance fee. Just how many times are they going to get away with making us pay again and again for the same thing?
The Tribune believes a special fee is needed for those living in “rural, fireprone areas.” Maybe so, but don’t leave it to fire bureaucrats to decide what those areas are. Look at how they applied this last fee. The fee is for “primary Cal Fire areas.” I live in County Fire territory, and am charged the fee.