corruption

FIRE FEE REFUND Q & A

FIRE FEE PRESERVATION OF RIGHT TO REFUND INSTRUCTIONS

& FAQ

THE ADVICE BELOW HAS NOT BEEN ENDORSED BY THE LEGISLATURE. IT IS

BASED ON THE HOWARD JARVIS TAXPAYERS ASSOCIATION LAWSUIT TO

REFUND THE FIRE FEE, AN “ILLEGAL TAX.”

Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association Instructions

for Challenging the Fee and Claiming a Refund

1. You must pay your bill to challenge the fee and claim a refund.

a. You can pay by:

i. Bank withdraw or Credit Card

ii. Check

1. Special Taxes and Fees Remittance Processing

State Board of Equalization

PO Box 942881 Sacramento, CA 94279-2525

www.boe.ca.gov/sptaxprog/fire_prev_fee.htm

2. You may have fewer than 30 days to pay from the date listed on the bill.

3. Fill out the “Petition for Redetermination Form”

iii. Link for full payment option details:

b. If cannot afford their fire fee bill they can call the BOE to set up a

payment plan at 1-800-400-7115. Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00

p.m.

a. Please caution constituents if they are late, a penalty and interest are

added. Moreover, the fee is a lien on your property, and failure to pay can

result in foreclosure.

a. Form Instructions

i. Account Number: The identification number on the notice of

ii. Parcel Number: The Assessor Parcel Number (APN), also found

iii. Decal Number: If the property is a mobile or manufactured

iv. Phone Number: A day time phone number with area code is

v. Reason and Explanation for the Petition: Please check at

determination (billing notice) received from the State Board of

Equalization.

on the billing notice, or on a property tax statement.

home and does not have an Assessor Parcel Number, it should

have a decal number. The decal identification number is issued by

the California Department of Housing and Community Development

(HCD) and should be included in the annual billing from HCD. The

Decal Number is referenced on the billing notice.

required, because the Petition reviewer may need to contact you in

case there are any questions regarding the Petition.

least one of the boxes and provide sufficient explanation and

documentation so your Petition can be properly evaluated.

1. IF OBJECTION IF DUE TO “ILLEGAL TAX” THEN THEY

2. MUST CHECK THE 5th BOX DOWN FOR “OTHER”

3. In the explanation box please write “see attached” and

include the one page attachment below (language

drafted by HJTA)

vi. Print, Sign and Date: A valid name, signature and date on

the Petition are required for processing.

4. HJTA Memo of petition language is below:

5. Mail “Petition for Redetermination Form” only to:

Fire Prevention Fee Service Center

Attn: Petitions, P.O. Box 2254

Suisun City, CA 94585

6. PLEASE REMIND CONSTITUENTS THAT THIS PETITION MUST BE FILED

WITHIN 30 DAYS OF THE BILL DATE TO BE ON FILE.

7. If the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association Lawsuit is successful then the court

has been asked to grant a refund to all those that filed an objection and

preserved their rights for a fire fee refund.

8. A petition must be filed annually with each bill to refund that specific year.

REASON FOR PETITION

Article 13A, section 3(a) of the California Constitution, as amended by

Proposition 26, reads: “Any change in state statute which results in any taxpayer

paying a higher tax must be … passed by not less than two-thirds of all members

elected to each of the two houses of the Legislature.” Section 3(b) then defines

“tax” to mean “any levy,charge, or exaction of any kind imposed by the State,”

unless it fits one of five listed exceptions.

Public Resources Code section 4214(d) specifies the activities to be funded with

revenue from the fire prevention fee. Other than item 4 (“inspections by the

department for compliance with defensible space requirements around

structures”), none of the activities listed qualifies as an exception to the two-thirds

legislative vote requirement for a “tax” in section 3(b). (Even as to item 4, many

parcels subject to the fee will not be inspected.) Therefore, the bill imposing this

levy (ABX1-29) needed two-thirds legislative approval to become law. It received

only majority approval. The entirety of the bill, and thus the entirety of the fire

protection fee levied thereby, is unenforceable.

Public Resources Code section 4124(d)(1) and (e) require the Department of

Forestry and Fire Protection to use fire prevention fee revenue to make local

assistance grants to counties and special districts to fund local fire prevention

activities. Yet article 13, section 24 provides: “The Legislature may not impose

taxes for local purposes but may authorize local governments to impose them.”

For this additional reason, the fire prevention fee is invalid.

FIRE FEE FAQ

Why Am I receiving this notice?

 The notice was sent to all parties CAL FIRE provided the BOE for 2014-15 billing year.

 Member Harkey along with her partners want you to have all the information available

regarding the fire fee and preserving your right to a refund.

Why is the “Petition for Redetermination” form on Cal FIRE letterhead?

 The “petition for redetermination” form is an official CAL FIRE document that the

Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association recommends you “oppose the illegal tax.”

 The form asks all the information that CAL FIRE needs to identify you and the property.

Why doesn’t the Cal FIRE “Petition for Redetermination” form state opposition as an

illegal tax as an option and in their instructions say not to use the form to oppose the tax?

 This is an official CA agency form for a fee they desire per the legislature. So they won’t

list the opposition of “illegal tax” or else they couldn’t issue the fee.

 Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association recommends in order to preserve your right to

refund you use their form, which they keep a record of, to object to the “illegal tax.”

 According to HJTA select the “other” option (5th box down) and write “see attached.”

 You then attach this document that essentially says “illegal tax and you want a refund”

Why are their multiple years listed on the “Petition for Redetermination” form?

 This form is used for multiple reasons and applies to various petitions that can affect a

party in any of the past billing years.

Why if I have been paying since 2011 am I only seeing the “Petition for Redetermination”

form now and can I file for past years?

 Member Harkey just got elected and immediately sent you this form notifying you of

 According to HJTA you must file your objection within 30 days of that years billing.

 Some folks are printing multiple copies of the form and sending it in at the same time.

your rights, and the information you need to know regarding the fire fee.

According to BOE legal department those forms will be recorded.

If you own a Time Share in a Fire Fee zone do you owe the fire fee?

 Generally no, The state of CA won’t bill for a liability less than $10.

 If your percentage of time ownership is greater than $10 then you would be billed. Ex.

$153 divided by 52 weeks equals $2.94 a week. 5 weeks = more than $10.

Does signing the petition join you in the lawsuit?

 No. The petition form enters your official opposition to the fee and has a record the court may use if the HJTA lawsuit is successful to issue a refund.

STATE OF CALIFORNIA FIRE PREVENTION FEE

PETITION FOR REDETERMINATION

Instructions are included on the back of this Petition form. To ensure proper processing and petition evaluation, all fields in the

Required Information section must be completed. Full explanations and documentation must be provided where explanations are requested.

Required Information:

BOE Account Number (upper right of bill): FF STF- _________

Parcel Number (APN) or Decal Number: _________________________ County:

Name on Bill: ________________________________________________________________________________

Mailing Address: ________________________________ Property Address: _____________________________

City: __________________ State: ___ Zip Code: ______ City: _________________ State: ___ Zip Code: _____

Day Time Phone: ___________________

Reason for Petition (choose one or more):

Verification and Signature of Property Owner (Required)

I understand that if my fee is not paid by the due date indicated on the Notice of Redetermination, I will be subject to a SHQDOW\

and interest charges per Public Resources Code section 4225 which will continue to accrue until the fee is paid in full. The

information above is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.

PLEASE DO NOT ENCLOSE YOUR BILL PAYMENT WITH THIS FORM

DO NOT USE THIS FORM TO REQUEST RELIEF DUE TO A NATURAL DISASTER. INSTEAD, USE THE NATURAL DISASTER RELIEF FORM

Mail Petition only to: Fire Prevention Fee Service Center, Attn: Petitions, P.O. Box 2254, Suisun City, CA 94585

Petition Form (02-15)

REASON FOR PETITION

Article 13A, section 3(a) of the California Constitution, as amended by

Proposition 26, reads: “Any change in state statute which results in any taxpayer paying a

higher tax must be … passed by not less than two-thirds of all members elected to each of

the two houses of the Legislature.” Section 3(b) then defines “tax” to mean “any levy,

charge, or exaction of any kind imposed by the State,” unless it fits one of five listed

Public Resources Code section 4214(d) specifies the activities to be funded with

revenue from the fire prevention fee. Other than item 4 (“inspections by the department

for compliance with defensible space requirements around structures”), none of the

activities listed qualifies as an exception to the two-thirds legislative vote requirement for

a “tax” in section 3(b). (Even as to item 4, many parcels subject to the fee will not be

inspected.) Therefore, the bill imposing this levy (ABX1-29) needed two-thirds

legislative approval to become law. It received only majority approval. The entirety of

the bill, and thus the entirety of the fire protection fee levied thereby, is unenforceable.

Public Resources Code section 4124(d)(1) and (e) require the Department of

Forestry and Fire Protection to use fire prevention fee revenue to make local assistance

grants to counties and special districts to fund local fire prevention activities. Yet article

13, section 24 provides: “The Legislature may not impose taxes for local purposes but

may authorize local governments to impose them.” For this additional reason, the fire

prevention fee is invalid.

PETITION INSTRUCTIONS

Please do not mail any bill payments with this Petition. Generally, the person for whom a Fire Prevention Fee

billing has been issued may petition for redetermination if they believe their fee has been calculated incorrectly for

their property. Examples of specific issues that may be considered for redetermination include: whether the person

billed actually owned the property on July 1of the fiscal year being billed, the number of habitable structures that should

be charged the fee, the $35 per structure reduction for structures located within the boundaries of a local agency

that provides fire protection services, whether the structure is actually located in the SRA, and the fee amount calculation.

A Petition for Redetermination must be submitted in writing within 30 days from the Notice of Determination (fee billing)

issued by the State Board of Equalization. Feepayers submitting a Petition should be prepared to submit documentary

evidence along with this completed form to support the specific grounds upon which the petition is being made.

Please complete and return this Petition for Redetermination form and supporting documentation to the Fire

Prevention Fee Service Center, Attn: Petitions, PO Box 2254, Suisun City, CA 94585. The envelope in which you

mail the form must be postmarked no later than 30 days from the date of the bill. To avoid the accrual of interest

and penalty the full amount of the bill should be paid before filing a Petition for Redetermination. If you have

already paid the bill and your Petition is approved, any amounts paid in excess of the amounts due will be

reviewed and, if warranted, refunded to you. The form must be filled in completely. Do not mail duplicates of this

petition to the Board of Equalization or the Board of Forestry.

Account Number: The identification number on the notice of determination (billing notice) received from the State Board

Parcel Number: The Assessor Parcel Number (APN), also found on the billing notice, or on a property tax

Decal Number: If the property is a mobile or manufactured home and does not have an Assessor Parcel Number, it

should have a decal number. The decal identification number is issued by the California Department of Housing and

Community Development (HCD) and should be included in the annual billing from HCD. The Decal Number is referenced

Phone Number: A day time phone number with area code is required, because the Petition reviewer may need to

contact you in case there are any questions regarding the Petition.

Reason and Explanation for the Petition: Please check at least one of the boxes and provide sufficient

explanation and documentation so your Petition can be properly evaluated.

Print, Sign and Date: A valid name, signature and date on the Petition are required for processing.

SRA: SRA means “State Responsibility Area” including state and privately-owned forest, watershed, and rangeland

for which the primary financial responsibility of preventing and suppressing fires rests with the State.

Fee Rate: For fiscal year 2014-15, the Fire Prevention Fee is levied at the rate of $152.33 per habitable structure

in the State Responsibility Area (SRA). However, owners of habitable structures within the SRA and also within the

boundaries of a local agency that provides fire protection services will receive a reduction of $35 per habitable

structure. The specific fee amount and reductions (if any) for your property can be found on the billing notice.

Fee Eligible Structures: “Habitable Structure” means a building that contains one or more dwelling units that can be

occupied for residential use. Buildings occupied for residential use include single family homes, multi-dwelling

structures, mobile and manufactured homes, condominiums and apartment buildings. Habitable structures do not

include commercial, industrial, or incidental buildings such as detached garages, barns, outdoor sanitation facilities or

sheds. For apartment buildings on the same parcel, each separate building is considered a habitable structure.

More Information: For more information about the Fire Prevention Fee program, or to obtain an electronic Petition

form that can be filled out online, please visit www.FirePreventionFee.org. If you have any further questions about

the fee or how to complete this form, please call the Fire Prevention Fee Service Center at 1- 888-310-6447, M-F

8:00 AM-5:00 PM, excluding state holidays.

PLEASE DO NOT ENCLOSE YOUR BILL PAYMENT WITH THIS FORM

DO NOT USE THIS FORM TO REQUEST RELIEF DUE TO A NATURAL DISASTER. INSTEAD USE THE NATURAL DISASTER RELIEF FORM

Mail Petition only to: Fire Prevention Fee Service Center, Attn: Petitions, P.O. Box 2254, Suisun City, CA 94585

Petition Form (02-15)

EXAMPLES OF ACCEPTABLE DOCUMENTATION

Disputing number of structures:

Depending on the nature of your dispute, acceptable documentation to support the claim made in your Petition may

include, but is not limited to:

 Proof of change of ownership with County Assessor’s Office prior to July 1 of fiscal year being billed.

 HCD or DMV registration showing that the mobile home was sold prior to July 1 of the fiscal year being billed.

 Discharge of Debtor AND proof that the property was surrendered during bankruptcy prior to July 1 of the fiscal

year being billed.

 Photos of structure showing that it is not habitable. If the structure is uninhabitable due to poor condition,

provide detailed photos of the inside and outside showing that it is unsafe and not fit for habitation.

 Building permit, building plans, or other documentation showing a structure is not habitable.

 Building permit, building plans, or other documentation showing that the structure was under construction and

was not habitable on July 1 of the fiscal year being billed.

 HCD or DMV documentation showing that the mobile home was removed or demolished prior to July 1 of the fiscal

year being billed.

Disputing lack of $35 reduction:

 Property tax bill or map showing the property is within the boundaries of a local agency that provides fire

protection services

 Documentation showing that a particular agency, such as a Community Services District (CSD), provides fire

protection services.

Disputing inclusion in SRA:

 Property tax bill or map showing the property is located within the boundaries of an incorporated city.

 Deed of Trust or other documentation showing the property is located on Federal Land.

 Two Notices of Determination (Fee Bill) showing the same mobile home was charged twice, once on the

Assessor’s Parcel Number and again on the Decal Number.

 Any other documentation that could further support your Petition for Redetermination.

Claims that do not qualify for redetermination include, but are not limited to:

 Disputes regarding the legality of the fee

 The property is in close proximity to a local fire station or fire hydrant

 Financial hardship

 The property is in a developed neighborhood or is regularly maintained.

PLEASE DO NOT ENCLOSE YOUR BILL PAYMENT WITH THIS FORM

DO NOT USE THIS FORM TO REQUEST RELIEF DUE TO A NATURAL DISASTER. INSTEAD, USE THE NATIONAL DISASTER RELIEF FORM

M Mail Petition only to: Fire Prevention Fee Service Center, Attn: Petitions, P.O. Box 2254, Suisun City, CA 94585

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