YREKA, Calif. — After a year and a half of budget cuts, California Fire’s deficit will now be partially funded through a new fee charged to certain homeowners. That bill is set to reach homeowners across California in the next few weeks and while some say it’s an unexpected burden others say they’re happy to pitch in for fire prevention.
In the next few weeks some California residents will be receiving a bill in the mail: $150.00 for their home and an additional $150 for any habitable spaces on their property. Cal Fire Protects is charged with the protection of one third of the state. Cal Fire faced major budget reductions in the past year and a half, cutting nearly $80 million from their budget. Fire officials say this new fee will help supplement that loss at a crucial time.
Micheal and Alcia Lasko are one of the many that could be affected by this new charge. They say on a fixed social security budget, it is hard to shell out unexpected cash, but they understand the importance of public safety.
Cal Fire says revenue from this new fee is approximated at $84 million a year. The money will be used for fire prevention this includes brush clearing and making defensible space. Officials say some homeowners might only be charged $115 this exemption includes just those that live within another fire department’s district or boundaries as well as Cal Fire.
From the time they received the bill in the mail, homeowners will have 30 days to pay that fee or be subject to penalties.