The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association is leading the legal opposition to the state’s Fire Prevention Fee. The State Board of Equalization has begun replying to the fee’s challenges.

In response to one local resident’s challenge and claim for refund the Board wrote, “the [Board of Equalization] will hold in abeyance any collection activity on this liability pending CAL FIRE’s review of your petition.” After CAL FIRE makes a decision, the board will issue a Notice of Redetermination.

HJTA recommends that property owners first pay the bill, then challenge it and claim a refund. “If you are late, steep penalties and interest are compounded monthly. Moreover, the fee is a lien on your property, and failure to pay can result in foreclosure,” the HJTA website stresses.

To qualify for a refund you must have paid your bill and filed a “Petition for Redetermination” with the responsible agencies. When you pay your fee, HJTA recommends that you write “under protest” on the notation line of your check. Also, make a copy of the check so that you can enclose it with your Petition for Redetermination form, as proof of payment.

The Petition for Redetermination form can be found at the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers site at