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CalFire delays sending next round of tax bills

  The state Board of Equalization announced last week that it would delay sending out this year’s round of fire fee bills in response to a request from CalFire.

  The first set of bills, which were being sent alphabetically by county, had been scheduled to be sent to property owners April 2. No date had been set for Plumas County.

  CalFire asked for the delay to correct its data following a barrage of protests following last year’s bills.

  The $150 bills were sent to property owners who live in state responsibility areas for fire protection. The fee was to be used for fire prevention activities.

  However, many residents received the bill in error and now CalFire is updating its maps.

  But even those who do reside in a state responsibility area are protesting.

  In mid-March the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association filed a lawsuit charging that the fee is an illegal tax.

  Additionally, Plumas County residents are objecting to the fee because CalFire maintains a very limited presence in the county.

  The Plumas County Fire Safe Council, in conjunction with local fire departments, wants the county Board of Supervisors to ask that the $1.2 million in fees collected last year be returned to the county and disbursed to local jurisdictions for fire prevention activities.

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