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Peterka didn’t attend the meeting. “I think there is next to no way local response would change the path of this fee,” he says.

Opponents still see a small window to overturn the law. Although AB 1506, which would have repealed it, has failed, Dargan says lawsuits may follow after the first bills go out. The key issue: is the charge a tax or a benefit fee?

“We agree the law should be tested,” Dargan says, to ensure that homeowners are receiving a real benefit from the services.

Meanwhile, as some anxiously check to see if they live in a state responsibility area, the U.S. Climate Prediction Center has published a map that won’t have rural residents resting easier.

It predicts that a significant wildfire season is developing in the Southwest.

For a map of state responsibility areas: bof.fire.ca.gov/sra_viewer/. ■

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Comments

CaptainObvious July 26, 2012 @ 5:19 p.m.

I live in a forested area in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I pay $350 per year to my local fire district which has a year-round manned fire station 200 yards from my property. I have a 5000 gallon water tank and hoses. I keep my pine needles cleaned up. My State taxes already pay for CalFire. More taxes will not improve anyone's protection. It has been fruitless to protest Moonbeam's new tax, and it cannot be challenged until the bills arrive. The first move Moonbeam made was to pass legislation to place liens on properties that do not pay the new tax, even though they did not yet know how much it would be, or how it would be assesed. I am looking forward to following the lawsuits that will soon begin. This may seem silly to those of you I left behind at the beach, but imagine what would happen if the City was to impose a $150 per residence lifeguard fee on those within five miles of salt water.

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Ken Harrison Aug. 1, 2012 @ 5:17 a.m.

This tax will not purchase one new fire truck or pay one new firefighter's salary. But will pay for some really nice looking brochures on how to be "Fire Safe and people to distribute them.

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