The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association is appealing the Superior Court’s 2018 decision to reject the association’s litigation seeking refunds of past state fire fees. This is the $35 fee for property in State Regulated Areas, including Idyllwild.
HJTA filed its appeal last week and is waiting for a hearing to be scheduled.
State Sen. Bob Wieckowski, who represents an urban stretch of the East Bay, has announced consideration of a bill to reinstate the fire prevention fee, which was suspended two years ago.
Regarding the fee, Wieckowski, chair of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee 2 on Resources, Environmental Protection, Energy and Transportation, has said he would like to “… consider eliminating the suspension of the State Responsibility Area Fire Prevention Fee.
His interest is the result of an informational hearing on Wildfire and Emergency Response and Preparedness last month.
“The state has increased spending on forest health and fire prevention activities five-fold since the 2014-2015 budget, invested in additional equipment, including new helicopters, to fight the fires, and raised funding for local fire prevention grants,” Wieckowski said in a statement two weeks ago. “We are also providing millions in funding for prescribed fires and fuel reduction, local fire response and urban forestry.
“The governor’s budget includes proposals for additional resources, such as more air tankers, improved communication alerts and better use of technology. In the months ahead, as we take a more detailed review, I look forward to exploring these and other issues.“