Santa Barbara County residents, like Californians in many rural areas, just paid their first round of Fire Fees. Now another round of bills are going out with an equally short due date.

The short turn around between the first batch of bills and the second is rubbing already miffed residents wrong. Further frustrating residents is the seemingly erratic nature of the SRA fees – one house is assessed the fee while a neighbor is not. That is a result of the truncated timeframe the Board of Equalization had to levy the fee. In 2015, a parcel-by-parcel analysis should be undertaken to refine the fee roster.

Meanwhile, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association has sued the state over the fee, which they claim is an illegally levied property tax. Should counties decide to join the suit, it could qualify for class action status. But for now it appears that counties are protesting loudly while quietly reviewing their options.

Read the full article at the Santa Barbara Independent.