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Controversy Against Fire Fee Heats Up


Aired 7/25/11

A San Diego County supervisor is joining the effort against a controversial fire-protection fee.

The new $150 annual fee would apply to people living in the back country who get service from Cal-Fire.

Gov. Jerry Brown and Democrats approved it as part of the recent state budget. They argue California needs the money to battle expensive wildfires.

Opponents like San Diego County Supervisor Diane Jacob call it a tax. She's getting behind a proposed 2012 initiative to overturn the fee.

Jacob believes the county is already paying its share for fire protection to Cal-Fire.

"Secondly many of these people in state responsibility areas are already paying additional assessment, some of them as much as $400 a year," said Jacob.

If the fee sticks, Jacob has asked the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection to exempt San Diego County from the fee.

It's still unknown how the fee will be charged and how the money will be put to use.

State officials are expected to outline those rules by September.

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