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AB-288 State responsibility areas: fire prevention fees: amnesty program.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 04/25/2017 09:00 PM
AB288:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 25, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 288


Introduced by Assembly Member Obernolte
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Aguiar-Curry, Arambula, Bigelow, Gallagher, Lackey, Levine, Mayes, Waldron, and Wood)
(Coauthors: Senators Dodd, Hill, McGuire, Morrell, Nielsen, Roth, and Wilk)

February 02, 2017


An act to amend Sections 4213, 4220, and 4222 of of, and to add Article 3 (commencing with Section 4230) to Chapter 1.5 of Part 2 of Division 4 of, the Public Resources Code, relating to forestry and fire prevention.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 288, as amended, Obernolte. State responsibility areas: fire prevention fees. fees: amnesty program.
Existing law requires the state to have the primary financial responsibility for preventing and suppressing fires in areas that the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection has determined are state responsibility areas, as defined. Existing law requires that a fire prevention fee be charged on each habitable structure on a parcel that is within a state responsibility area, collected annually by the State Board of Equalization, in accordance with specified procedures, and specifies that the annual fee shall be due and payable 30 days from the date of assessment by the state board. Existing law authorizes a petition for redetermination of the fee to be filed within 30 days after service of a notice of determination, as specified.
This bill would extend the time when the fire prevention fee is due and payable from 30 to 60 days from the date of assessment by the State Board of Equalization and would authorize the petition for redetermination to be filed within 60 days after service of the notice of determination, as specified.
The bill would establish the Fire Prevention Fee Amnesty Program. The bill would require the State Board of Equalization to develop and administer the amnesty program for a person subject to the fees described above. The bill would require the program to be conducted for a 6-month time period, as provided, and would apply to fire prevention fee liabilities due and payable for the fee reporting periods beginning before March 1, 2018. The bill would require the program to apply to a person who meets specified requirements, including the filing of a completed amnesty application under penalty of perjury. By requiring the application to be completed under penalty of perjury, the bill would create a crime, and thus impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would require the state board to waive all penalties and interest for the specified fee reporting period for which the fire prevention fee amnesty is allowed for the nonpayment or underpayment of fee liabilities for a person who meets the above requirements. The bill would require the state board to adequately publicize the program so as to maximize public awareness of and participation in the program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NOYES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 4213 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

4213.
 (a) (1) The fire prevention fee imposed pursuant to Section 4212 shall be collected annually by the State Board of Equalization in accordance with the Fee Collection Procedures Law (Part 30 (commencing with Section 55001) of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code).
(2) Notwithstanding the appeal provisions in the Fee Collection Procedures Law, a determination by the department that a person is required to pay a fire prevention fee, or a determination by the department regarding the amount of that fee, is subject to review under Article 2 (commencing with Section 4220) and is not subject to a petition for redetermination by the State Board of Equalization.
(3) (A) Notwithstanding the refund provisions in the Fee Collection Procedures Law, the State Board of Equalization shall not accept a claim for refund that is based on the assertion that a determination by the department improperly or erroneously calculated the amount of the fire prevention fee, or incorrectly determined that the person is subject to that fee, unless that determination has been set aside by the department or a court reviewing the determination of the department.
(B) If the department or a reviewing court determines that a person is entitled to a refund of all or part of the fire prevention fee, the person shall make a claim to the State Board of Equalization pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 55221) of Part 30 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
(b) The annual fire prevention fee shall be due and payable 60 days from the date of assessment by the State Board of Equalization.
(c) On or before January 1, the department shall annually transmit to the State Board of Equalization the appropriate name and address of each person who is liable for the fire prevention fee and the amount of the fee to be assessed, as authorized by this article, and at the same time the department shall provide to the State Board of Equalization a contact telephone number for the board to be printed on the bill to respond to questions about the fee.
(d) If in a fiscal year there are sufficient amounts of money in the State Responsibility Area Fire Prevention Fund created pursuant to Section 4214 to finance the costs of the programs under subdivision (d) of Section 4214 for that fiscal year, the fee may not be collected that fiscal year.

SEC. 2.

 Section 4220 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

4220.
 A person from whom the fire prevention fee is determined to be due under this chapter may petition for a redetermination of whether this chapter applies to that person within 60 days after service upon him or her of a notice of the determination. If a petition for redetermination is not filed within the 60-day period, the amount determined to be due becomes final at the expiration of the 60-day period.

SEC. 3.

 Section 4222 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

4222.
 If a petition for redetermination of the application of this chapter is filed within the 60-day period, the department shall reconsider whether the fee is due and make a determination in writing. The department may eliminate the fee based on a determination that this chapter does not apply to the person who filed the petition.

SEC. 4.

 Article 3 (commencing with Section 4230) is added to Chapter 1.5 of Part 2 of Division 4 of the Public Resources Code, to read:
Article  3. Fire Prevention Fee Amnesty Program

4230.
 For purposes of this article, the following terms have the following meanings:
(a) “Program” means the Fire Prevention Fee Amnesty Program established pursuant to this article.
(b) “State board” means the State Board of Equalization.

4231.
 The state board shall develop and administer the program for a person subject to the fees established by this chapter.

4232.
 The program shall be conducted for a six-month period beginning January 1, 2019, through June 30, 2019, inclusive, or during an alternative six-month period ending no later than December 31, 2019. The program shall apply to fire prevention fee liabilities due and payable for fee reporting periods beginning before March 1, 2018.

4233.
 (a) The state board shall waive all penalties and interest imposed by this chapter for the fee reporting periods for which fire prevention fee amnesty is allowed for the nonpayment or underpayment of fee liabilities for a person who meets the requirements of Section 4234.
(b) A refund or credit of a penalty or interest paid shall not be granted pursuant to the program prior to the time the person makes a request for fee amnesty pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 4234.

4234.
 (a) The amnesty program shall apply to a person who meets all of the following requirements:
(1) Has fire prevention fee liability for nonpayment or underpayment of fees for the fee reporting periods for which fire prevention fee amnesty is allowed.
(2) Files a completed amnesty program application with the state board, signed under penalty of perjury.
(3) Within 60 days after the conclusion of the program period, pays in full the fire prevention fees due for all periods for which amnesty is requested, or applies for an installment agreement under subdivision (b).
(4) In the case of a person who has filed for bankruptcy protection under Title 11 of the United States Code, submits an order from a Federal Bankruptcy Court allowing the person to participate in the program.
(b) The state board may enter into an installment payment agreement in lieu of the complete payment required under paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) if final payment under the terms of that installment payment agreement is due and is paid no later than June 30, 2021. Failure by the person to fully comply with the terms of the installment payment agreement shall render the waiver of penalties and interest null and void, unless the state board determines that the failure was due to reasonable causes, and the total amount of fees, interest, and penalties shall be immediately due and payable.
(c) The application required under paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) shall be in the form and manner specified by the state board, but in no case shall a mere payment of any fees due, in whole or in part, for any period otherwise eligible for amnesty under this section be deemed to constitute an acceptable amnesty application under this section. For purposes of the preceding sentence, the application of a refund from one period to offset a fee liability for another period otherwise eligible for amnesty shall not be allowed without the filing of an amnesty application under this section.

4236.
 The state board shall adequately publicize the program so as to maximize public awareness of and participation in the program. The state board shall coordinate with the department to the highest degree possible its publicity efforts and other actions taken in implementing this article.

4237.
 The state board shall issue forms and instructions and take other actions needed to implement this article.

SEC. 5.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.