MONTECITO, CA - Montecito Fire Protection District Board of Directors adopted a resolution on August 20, 2012 opposing the newly implemented "State Responsibility Area" (SRA) fees, which will impose additional financial burden on its constituents without providing additional fire services.
Many residents in Montecito live within the SRA lands. SRA lands are lands in which the state assumes primary financial responsibility for protecting natural resources and watershed from damages from fire.
Montecito residents living in these designated areas will be receiving a notice in the mail from the State Board of Equalization (BOE) alerting them that a fee will be levied for fire prevention services. The notice advises them that they will be charged $150 for each habitable structure on their property. Montecito residents will receive a $35 discount in the fee, reducing it to $115. This reduction is given because they are also within the boundaries of an organized fire agency.
This fee is a result of a legislative trailer bill, Assembly Bill X1 29. The Fire Districts Association of California (FDAC) has actively opposed the bill on behalf of its fire district members since the idea was presented a few years ago as a way to generate additional revenues for the state.
The funds collected from this fee will go directly to CALFire. This fee is NOT an assessment from Montecito Fire District, and Montecito Fire will receive none of these funds from CALFire for services or fire prevention activities in our community.
"It has always been the Board's desire to avoid imposing additional taxes or fees upon the District's constituents," said Roy Jenson, Montecito Fire District Board President. "We want to make it clear that this new fee is not imposed by the District, and will not directly benefit the community in any way."
Requests for exemption or clarification should be directed to CALFire and the BOE. Their contact information can be found here. You can also call 888-310-6447.
Click here to see Resolution 2012-07 regarding the Negative Impact of SRA Fees as a result of the adoption of Assembly Bill X1 29.