Fire Prevention Fee Service Center
Fire Prevention Fee Service Center
P.O. Box 2254
Suisun City, CA 94585
What is CAL FIRE?
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) is a state agency dedicated to the fire protection and stewardship of over 31 million acres of California’s privately-owned wildlands. In addition, the Department provides varied emergency services in 36 of the State’s 58 counties via contracts with local governments.
What is the State Responsibility Area (SRA)?
State and privately-owned forest, watershed, and rangeland for which the primary financial responsibility of preventing and suppressing wildland fires rests with the State. The SRA definition can be found in PRC 4126: http://law.onecle.com/california/public-resources/4126.html
How do I find out if my home is within the SRA?
Visit the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection’s website and click the “State Responsibility Area Viewer” link: http://www.bof.fire.ca.gov/sra_viewer
What is the State Responsibility Area Fire Prevention Fee?
The fee provides a stable source of funding for a portion of CAL FIRE’s budget spent on fire prevention activities.
My home is protected by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, why am I being assessed the SRA Fee?
Santa Barbara County is a CAL FIRE contract county. CAL FIRE contracts with the Santa Barbara County Fire Department to provide fire protection and prevention services to properties within the Santa Barbara County SRA. Currently, CAL FIRE pays the department annually to provide these services. There are between 12,000 and 13,000 parcels in the county that are at least partially within the SRA.
What will happen to the fees that are collected?
Fees that are collected will become part of CAL FIRE’s prevention budget. A portion of the fees has been allocated back to Santa Barbara County under our contract with Cal Fire.
Will I have to send a check to the fire department?
No. The State Board of Equalization is charged with collecting the fee. Neither the County of Santa Barbara, nor the Santa Barbara County Fire Department will collect any SRA Fees from residents.
Who is assessed the SRA fee?
A fee will be assessed on all habitable structures within the SRA. A habitable structure is defined as a building used, or intended to be used, for human habitation. It includes, but is not limited to, a mobile or
How much is the fee?
The fee is approximately $150 per habitable structure per year. The fee may be discounted $35 per habitable structure, if the structure is within the boundaries of a local agency that provides fire protection services. It is the position of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department that all habitable structures within the Santa Barbara County SRA are eligible for this discount.
The State has already applied the credit ($35) for all properties within Santa Barbara County. If the proper credit was not applied, or if you believe you have been over-charged, the property owner needs
to fill out a Petition for Redetermination form on the State website:
http://www.firepreventionfee.org/PetitionForm.pdf and submit the form to the State. The local fire department does not need to sign or complete the form.
What about apartments?
The apartment building is assessed the fee for the structure, but not multiplied by each unit. Example: one apartment building would pay $150.
What about condominiums?
In a condominium complex with multiple owners, each owner would have a corresponding parcel number and, therefore, each would individually be assessed the fee.
My parcel is not located in the SRA.
The property owner must complete the Petition for Redetermination form on the State Website URL does not work
(http://www.firepreventionfee.org/PetitionForm.pdf) and submit the form to the State.
My parcel is in the SRA and I do not want to pay the fee.
There is nothing the local fire department can do. The Santa Barbara County Fire Department recommends that property owners pay the fee, and then take the matter up with the State and or their local state legislator. They may also file a Petition for Redetermination form with the State.
How do I have my parcel evaluated for removal from the SRA?
The property owner may obtain information regarding SRA determination and mapping at http://frap.fire.ca.gov/ If they want their property reviewed for removal from the SRA, they must complete the Petition For Redetermination form on the State website and submit the form to the State.
The review process starts at the State and can take some time due to the number of requests being received.
Are ALL structures subject to the fee?
No. The key word is “habitable.” Barns, woodsheds, outbuildings and other structures not used for human habitation are not assessed the fee.
Is this a one-time, or annual fee?
The fee will be assessed annually.
If I have questions specific to Santa Barbara County, whom should I contact?
4410 Cathedral Oaks Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93110