Governor Brown’s budget called for a new, $150 fire protection fee for rural areas. State Board in charge of the fee has decreased the amount of the fee, and has added clarity to how it applies to California property owners.

The new fee will be $90 per non-connected, inhabited structure for any property owner who receives their fire protection services from Cal Fire. However, if there are three or more inhabited structures on a property then the owner will have to pay a fee of $25 per year, per building, beginning with the third.

The new fee structure will only deliver about half of the planned revenues to Cal Fire: the budget called for $50 million in funding, but only $25 million will be actualized. Cal Fire currently provides fire services and protection for 850,000 homeowners and 31 million acres across the state.

From the San Diego Union Tribune:

A state board charged with carrying out a new fire prevention fee for backcountry homes on Monday settled on a general cap of $90 per year, but also adopted a string of credits that will likely lower the final bill for many San Diego County residents to about $35.

Residents living in rural areas protected by Cal Fire will probably see the bills showing up in mailboxes later this year, unless lawmakers or the courts intervene.

In San Diego County, about 73,000 homes and 1 million acres of land are in what’s called “state responsibility areas” defended by Cal Fire.

Read the full article here.