Fire tax fee may yet change


Frustration with a state fire prevention tax that costs property owners as much as $150 a year continues to grow in the Eastern Sierra, but there is some hope for a legislative solution, even as a bill to repeal the tax died last week, according to county officials.

According to Mono County Supervisor Fred Stump, several bills to try to change the State Responsibility Area (SRA) fees—which hit most property owners in Mono County last year for the first time with a $115 to $150 bill—are being sponsored by state Senator Ted Gaines (D-Rocklin) and are now in various stages of process. They include: SB 125, which would exempt any property located in a Fire District from paying the SRA; SB 147, which would exempt any person whose income is less than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Line from paying the SRA fee; and AB 468, which would add a 4.8 percent fee to insurance on property and eliminate the SRA fee. The money from this measure would go into a “State Disaster Relief Fund”.