Many residents in Marin live within the “State Responsibility Area” or SRA. These residents will soon receive a notice in the mail from the State Board of Equalization (BOE) alerting them that a fee will be levied by California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), the state’s firefighting agency, for fire prevention services. The notice will advise them that they will be charged $150 for each habitable structure on their property. There are approximately 800 affected parcels within the Kentfield Fire District. Those Kentfield residents will receive a $35 reduction in the fee given that they are currently protected by the Fire District, resulting in a total fee charge of $115.
Countywide, 15,285 homes will be impacted, resulting in $1.75 Million dollars leaving Marin. All of these homeowners already pay local taxes for year-round fire prevention and protection services to their local fire agency. Fire District residents will not see any direct benefit from this fee that has been actively opposed since its inception by local government representatives, including the Kentfield Fire District. Again, this fee is a result of a trailer bill, ABX1 29 passed by the State Legislature. This fee is not an assessment from the Kentfield Fire District or the County of Marin. Requests for exemption or clarification should be directed to CAL-Fire and the BOE. Their contact information and more information can be found here. You can also call 888-310-6447. An interactive map of the property owners that are affected can be found here. The actual bills are scheduled to be sent out beginning in August 2012. They estimate that all bills will be sent out by October 2012.