Leader

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

California-Looking to charge for FF costs

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • California-Looking to charge for FF costs

    Budget woes continue, post 9-11...and the impact may be costly to Landowners.

    By DON THOMPSON
    Associated Press Writer
    SACRAMENTO (AP) - Landowners on nearly 32 million acres where
    fire protection is provided by the California Department of
    Forestry and Fire Protection may have to jointly pay $50 million in
    firefighting costs that was stripped out of the budget approved by
    lawmakers Tuesday.
    The budget pulls $50 million from the department's $600 million
    annual budget to help eliminate a potential $38 billion deficit.
    A pending bill, still being finalized for lawmakers'
    consideration later this month, would let the department recover
    the $50 million by collecting fees. How is still uncertain, said
    department spokeswoman Karen Terrill, but the fire protection fees
    would likely be charged to landowners, possibly collected by county
    tax assessors.
    The department provides fire protection for nearly a third of
    California's roughly 100 million acres, mostly in rural areas at
    lower elevations. By comparison, the federal government has
    jurisdiction and primary firefighting responsibility for another
    roughly 40 million acres.
    Charging landowners for firefighting costs was proposed last
    year by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office. The analyst
    suggested they be billed for half the $282 million taxpayers pay
    for fire suppression from the state's general fund, or $141
    million.
    Department Director Andrea Tuttle opposed the idea. She told
    lawmakers that owners of about 20 million of the nearly 32 million
    acres, including 95 percent of improved lots, already pay fees or
    taxes to local fire protection districts. She suggested all
    Californians benefit from fire suppression and should pay the
    costs.
    Idaho, Montana and Oregon charge a per-acre fee, while Oregon
    charges an additional $38 a year on improved lots.
    A second proposed fee, this one on logging companies that submit
    timber harvest plans for state review, was stripped out of the
    department's budget at the last minute at the insistence of
    Assembly Republicans.
    Meanwhile, the Department of Fish and Game faces a potential
    $4.2 million dilemma.
    The budget approved Tuesday assumes that money will be made up
    by an increase in hunting and fishing fees - but the fee increase
    language was dropped at the last minute from a second piece of
    legislation.
    The department hopes to include the fee language in a bill
    lawmakers will consider when they return from their summer recess
    later this month, but "as of right now, those are in limbo and our
    budget's in limbo," said spokesman Steve Martarano.
    Gov. Gray Davis had proposed that resident sport fishing
    licenses would increase $2 to $31.25, while resident hunting
    licenses increase $1.75 to $31.25. The state's other fees for
    resident and nonresident, commercial and sport fishing and hunting
    also would increase.

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

300x600 Ad Unit (In-View)

Collapse

Upper 300x250

Collapse

Taboola

Collapse

Leader

Collapse
Working...
X