Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill that creates a new fire-fighting fee for some California homeowners.
The legislation was part of the recent state budget deal. It imposes a new fee on some rural property owners. The charge could be as much as 150 dollars per structure and is designed to defray the cost of fighting fires. It’s expected to generate about 50 million dollars.
When signing the bill, Brown also included a message. He noted that due to urban development in wildland areas the state has seen a significant increase in the cost of fire protection–and said a portion of that cost should be funded by landowners in those areas.
The legislation was controversial because some taxpayer groups argued it was really a tax and should be subject to a two-thirds vote of the legislature.