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  • What do WA State Fire Fees Pay For?

    What do WA State Fire Fees Pay For?

    I checked my Clallam County, WA State tax statement. Fire distribution $32.67, plus Fire Patrol fee $248.92 plus Fire Patrol County fee $2.00.
    This money (FIRE PATROL FEE) is collected by our county treasurer and remitted as, WA State Forest Fire Protection Assessment (FFPA) to the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and placed in the DNR general fund.

    WHAT ARE THESE OVER $250.00 A YEAR FIRE FEES PAYING FOR?
    WA State DNR Assistant Division Director of Fire Prevention Karen Arnold will be sending me the email answer, per our phone conversation.
    I’ll keep you posted

    ————————————————-
    DNR Karen Z Arnold email response

    The bottom line
    If you have additional questions please feel free to follow up either by e-mail or phone.

    ———————————————————–
    —– Original Message —–
    From: Arnold, Karen (DNR)
    To: phew@wavecable.com
    Sent: Monday, September 21, 2015 2:59 PM
    Subject: Department of Natural Resources – Forest Fire Protection Assessment

    Good Afternoon,

    Thank you for the phone call and your inquiry around your family’s property Fire Patrol Fee or Forest Fire Protection Assessment (FFPA). If I recall in our conversation you say that you are a trustee to 800 ac in Clallam County and pay about $250/yr. I believe the RCW 76.04.610 should answer your questions regarding what DNR does with those monies.

    If you have additional questions please feel free to follow up either by e-mail or phone.

    Karen Z Arnold
    ADM, Fire Regulation and Technical Services
    Wildfire Division
    WA State Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
    Work: 360-902-1315
    Cell: 360-528-0450
    ——————————————————————————–
    As usual, the bottom line, our elected representatives passed a “TAXING ASSESSMENT” law and called it a FEE.

    RCW 76.04.610: Forest fire protection assessment.
    Effective date — 1993 c 36: “This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, OR SUPPORT OF THE STATE GOVERNMENT AND ITS EXISTING PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS, AND SHALL TAKE EFFECT IMMEDIATELY [April 15, 1993].” [1993 c 36 § 3.]

    REGARDING MY QUESTIONS ON THIS ACT OF NECESSARY IMMEDIATE ASSESSMENT $$$$ ACT OF “OR SUPPORT” OF STATE GOVERNMENT.

    I received the following response.

    I believe the RCW 76.04.610 (full text below) should answer your questions regarding what DNR does with those monies.

    I READ THROUGH THE LEGALIZE “MUMBO JUMBO”, RESEARCH, AND DOCUMENT.
    THE USUAL… JUST ANOTHER “WHAT ELSE LAW”
    “WHAT ELSE?” WHO ELSE? DOES DNR USE THESE ASSESSED FIRE FEES FOR?

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    FOR THE PRIVATE LAND OWNER, THIS IS A LEGISLATED ACT OF FEE FI FOE FUM, AN ACT OF “OR ELSE” AND AN ACT OF PAY THE FEES “OR ELSE” PAY THE PENALTIES.

    Behind My Back | Fee Fie Foe Fum

    www.behindmyback.org/2013/10/26/fee-fie-foefum/

    Oct 26, 2013 – Feefifofum” is the first line of a historical quatrain famous for its use in the classic English fairy … http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fee-fie-foe-fum.

    If you have additional questions please feel free to follow up either by e-mail or phone.
    How much money did DNR collect for ASSESSED FIRE FEES in 2014?
    ————————————————————————————
    Back to the original question…
    WHAT DOES DNR USE THESE ASSESSED FIRE FEES FOR?
    This assessment SHALL be used in support of those rural fire districts assisting the department in fire protection services on forest lands.

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    THE DEPARTMENT SHALL PROVIDE SUCH PROTECTION

    ——————————————————
    FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS CHAPTER, THE DEPARTMENT MAY DIVIDE THE FOREST LANDS OF THE STATE, OR ANY PART THEREOF, INTO DISTRICTS, FOR FIRE PROTECTION AND ASSESSMENT PURPOSES, MAY CLASSIFY LANDS ACCORDING TO THE CHARACTER OF TIMBER PREVAILING, AND THE FIRE HAZARD EXISTING….

    ——————————————————-

    ADDING, “WHAT ELSE?” AND “WHO ELSE”?

    —————————————————

    COLLECTIONS SHALL BE APPLIED AGAINST EXPENSES INCURRED IN CARRYING OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION, INCLUDING NECESSARY AND REASONABLE ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS INCURRED BY THE DEPARTMENT IN THE ENFORCEMENT OF THESE PROVISIONS.

    THE DEPARTMENT MAY ALSO “EXPEND SUMS” COLLECTED FROM OWNERS OF FOREST LANDS OR RECEIVED “FROM ANY OTHER SOURCE FOR NECESSARY ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS IN CONNECTION WITH THE ENFORCEMENT OF RCW 76.04.660.

    OR? TO SUPPORT OF THE STATE GOVERNMENT AND ITS EXISTING PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS

    GOOD GRIEF.. WHO KNEW?

    This section was APPROPRIATED from WILDFIRE PROTECTION to WILDFIRE PREVENTION

    During the 2011-2013 fiscal biennium
    THE FOREST FIRE PROTECTION ASSESSMENT ACCOUNT
    ” MAY BE APPROPRIATED”
    TO THE EVERGREEN STATE COLLEGE FOR ANALYSIS AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO IMPROVE THE EFFICIENCY AND EFFECTIVENESS OF THE STATE’S MECHANISMS FOR FUNDING FIRE PREVENTION AND SUPPRESSION ACTIVITIES.

    ———————————————————————————-

    PRIVATE PROPERTY OWNERS ARE CHARGED FOR AND PAYING FOR PROTECTION?
    SO? HOW DID THE WILD FIRE PROTECTION FEES END UP IN STATE WILD FIRE PREVENTION?
    BY WHO’S APPROPRIATION?

    ——————————————————————————————–

    snippet from below…
    This section was adapted from “Developing a Cooperative Approach to WILDFIRE PROTECTION,” a publication of the National Wildland/Urban Interface FIRE PROTECTION Program

    SO HOW DID THE WILD FIRE PROTECTION FEES END UP IN STATE AND NATIONAL WILD FIRE PREVENTION? BY WHO’S APPROPRIATION?

    This section was ADAPTED FROM WILDFIRE PROTECTION to WILDFIRE PREVENTION

    —————————————————-

    Does this 101 page document plus RCW 76.04.610 answer your questions regarding what DNR does with those monies.

    ————————————————————
    Establishing Fire Prevention Education Cooperative …
    www.nwcg.gov/sites/…/cooppart.p…
    NATIONAL WILDFIRE COORDINATING GROUP
    Specialists and subject matter experts in the appropriate area. … this series is to improve and enhance wildfire prevention programs and to … 5.1 Fire Prevention Assessment Considerations . … “Cooperation is an innocuous term, but by all accounts it is …. private and public organizations, businesses, and, of course, the. Each Wildfire Prevention Guide has been developed by Fire Prevention Specialists and subject matter experts in the appropriate area. The goal of
    this series is to improve and enhance wildfire prevention programs and to facilitate the achievement of NWCG program goals. Special mention to the National Wildland-Urban Interface fire protection Program and members of the Pacific Northwest Fire Prevention Cooperatives in providing
    information to this guide.
    NWCG Wildfire Prevention Guide development:
    • Conducting School Programs (1996)
    • Event Management (1996)
    • Wildfire Prevention Marketing (1996)
    • Wildfire Prevention and the Media (1998)
    • Wildfire Prevention Strategies (1998)
    • Effective Wildfire Prevention Patrol (1998)
    • Recreation Area Fire Prevention (1999)
    • Fire Communication and Education (1999)
    • Fire Education Exhibits and Displays (1999)
    • Industrial Operations Fire Prevention Guide (1999)
    • Establishing Fire Prevention Education Cooperative Programs and Partnerships (1999
    ————————————————————————————-

    If you have additional questions, ON “WHAT ELSE” WA STATE FIRE FEES PAY FOR?
    please feel free to follow up either by e-mail or phone.
    Karen Z Arnold
    ADM, Fire Regulation and Technical Services
    Wildfire Division
    WA State Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
    Work: 360-902-1315
    Cell: 360-528-0450

    ——————————————————————————————-
    Emphasis added… For the understanding of a reasonable person,

    READ THESE LAWS

    RCW 76.04.600
    Owners to protect forests.
    EVERY OWNER OF FOREST LAND IN THE STATE OF WASHINGTON SHALL FURNISH OR PROVIDE, during the season of the year when there is danger of forest fires, adequate protection against the spread of fire thereon or therefrom WHICH SHALL MEET WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE DEPARTMENT.
    [1986 c 100 § 34.]
    RCW 76.04.600: Owners to protect forests.
    apps.leg.wa.gov › … › Title 76 › Chapter 76.04
    Washington State Senate
    EVERY OWNER OF FOREST LAND IN THE STATE OF WASHINGTON SHALL FURNISH OR PROVIDE, during the season of the year when there is danger of forest fires, adequate …
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    (3) Beginning January 1, 1991, under the administration and at the discretion of the department up to two hundred thousand dollars per year of THIS ASSESSMENT SHALL BE USED IN SUPPORT OF THOSE RURAL FIRE DISTRICTS ASSISTING THE DEPARTMENT IN FIRE PROTECTION SERVICES ON FOREST LANDS.

    ———————————————————-

    RCW 76.04.610: Forest fire protection assessment.
    apps.leg.wa.gov › … › Title 76 › Chapter 76.04
    Washington State Senate
    76.04.600 << 76.04.610 >> 76.04.620 … provide adequate fire protection as required by RCW 76.04.600, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL PROVIDE SUCH PROTECTION AND SHALL …
    (1)(a) If any owner of forest land within a forest protection zone neglects or fails to provide adequate fire protection as required by RCW 76.04.600, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL PROVIDE SUCH PROTECTION AND SHALL ANNUALLY IMPOSE the following assessments on each parcel of such land: (i) A flat fee assessment of seventeen dollars and fifty cents; and (ii) twenty-seven cents on each acre exceeding fifty acres.
    ————————————————————————-
    THE DEPARTMENT SHALL PROVIDE SUCH PROTECTION AND SHALL ANNUALLY IMPOSE

    —————————————————-
    Effective date — 1993 c 36: “THIS ACT IS NECESSARY FOR THE IMMEDIATE PRESERVATION OF THE PUBLIC PEACE, HEALTH, OR SAFETY, OR SUPPORT OF THE STATE GOVERNMENT AND ITS EXISTING PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS, AND SHALL TAKE EFFECT IMMEDIATELY [APRIL 15, 1993].” [1993 C 36 § 3.]

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    (b) Assessors may, at their option, collect the assessment on tax exempt lands. If the assessor elects not to collect the assessment, the department may bill the landowner directly.

    (2) An owner who has paid assessments on two or more parcels, each containing fewer than fifty acres and each within the same county, may obtain the following refund:

    (a) If all the parcels together contain less than fifty acres, then the refund is equal to the flat fee assessments paid, reduced by the total of (i) seventeen dollars and (ii) the total of the amounts retained by the county from such assessments under subsection (5) of this section.

    (b) If all the parcels together contain fifty or more acres, then the refund is equal to the flat fee assessments paid, reduced by the total of (i) seventeen dollars, (ii) twenty-seven cents for each acre exceeding fifty acres, and (iii) the total of the amounts retained by the county from such assessments under subsection (5) of this section.

    Applications for refunds shall be submitted to the department on a form prescribed by the department and in the same year in which the assessments were paid. The department may not provide refunds to applicants who do not provide verification that all assessments and property taxes on the property have been paid. Applications may be made by mail.

    In addition to the procedures under this subsection, property owners with multiple parcels in a single county who qualify for a refund under this section may apply to the department on an application listing all the parcels owned in order to have the assessment computed on all parcels but billed to a single parcel. Property owners with the following number of parcels may apply to the department in the year indicated:

    Year Number of Parcels
    2002 10 or more parcels
    2003 8 or more parcels
    2004 and thereafter 6 or more parcels

    The department must compute the correct assessment and allocate one parcel in the county to use to collect the assessment. The county must then bill the forest fire protection assessment on that one allocated identified parcel. The landowner is responsible for notifying the department of any changes in parcel ownership.

    (3) Beginning January 1, 1991, under the administration and at the discretion of the department up to two hundred thousand dollars per year of this assessment shall be used in support of those rural fire districts assisting the department in fire protection services on forest lands.

    (4) FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS CHAPTER, THE DEPARTMENT MAY DIVIDE THE FOREST LANDS OF THE STATE, OR ANY PART THEREOF, INTO DISTRICTS, FOR FIRE PROTECTION AND ASSESSMENT PURPOSES, MAY CLASSIFY LANDS ACCORDING TO THE CHARACTER OF TIMBER PREVAILING, AND THE FIRE HAZARD EXISTING, and place unprotected lands under the administration of the proper district. Amounts paid or contracted to be paid by the department for protection of forest lands from funds at its disposal shall be a lien upon the property protected, unless reimbursed by the owner within ten days after October 1st of the year in which they were incurred. The department shall be prepared to make statement thereof, upon request, to a forest owner whose own protection has not been previously approved as to its adequacy, the department shall report the same to the assessor of the county in which the property is situated. The assessor shall extend the amounts upon the tax rolls covering the property, and upon authorization from the department shall levy the forest protection assessment against the amounts of unimproved land as shown in each ownership on the county assessor’s records.
    The assessor may then segregate on the records to provide that the improved land and improvements thereon carry the millage levy designed to support the rural fire protection districts as provided for in RCW 52.16.170.
    RCW 52.16.170 – Access Washington
    apps.leg.wa.gov › … › Title 52 › Chapter 52.16
    Washington State Senate
    In the event that lands lie within both a fire protection district and a forest protection assessment area they shall be taxed and assessed as follows: (1) If the lands …
    —————————————————————————-

    (5) The amounts assessed shall be collected at the time, in the same manner, by the same procedure, and with the same penalties attached that general state and county taxes on the same property are collected, except that errors in assessments may be corrected at any time by the department certifying them to the treasurer of the county in which the land involved is situated. Assessments shall be known and designated as assessments of the year in which the amounts became reimbursable. Upon the collection of assessments the county treasurer shall place fifty cents of the total assessments paid on a parcel FOR FIRE PROTECTION
    INTO THE COUNTY CURRENT EXPENSE FUND TO DEFRAY THE COSTS OF LISTING, BILLING, AND COLLECTING THESE ASSESSMENTS.
    The treasurer shall then transmit the balance to the department.

    Collections shall be applied against expenses incurred in carrying out the provisions of this section, INCLUDING NECESSARY AND REASONABLE ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS INCURRED BY THE DEPARTMENT IN THE ENFORCEMENT OF THESE PROVISIONS.

    The department may also expend sums collected from owners of forest lands or received FROM ANY OTHER SOURCE FOR NECESSARY ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS IN CONNECTION WITH THE ENFORCEMENT OF RCW 76.04.660.

    (6) When land against which forest protection assessments are outstanding is acquired for delinquent taxes and sold at public auction, the state shall have a prior lien on the proceeds of sale over and above the amount necessary to satisfy the county’s delinquent tax judgment. The county treasurer, in case the proceeds of sale exceed the amount of the delinquent tax judgment, shall immediately remit to the department the amount of the outstanding forest protection assessments.

    (7) ALL NONFEDERAL PUBLIC BODIES OWNING OR ADMINISTERING FOREST LAND included in a forest protection zone SHALL PAY THE FOREST PROTECTION ASSESSMENTS provided in this section and THE SPECIAL FOREST FIRE SUPPRESSION account assessments under RCW 76.04.630.

    The forest protection assessments and special forest fire suppression account assessments shall be payable BY NONFEDERAL PUBLIC BODIES from available funds within thirty days following receipt of the written notice from the department which is given after October 1st of the year in which the protection was provided. Unpaid assessments are not a lien against the NONFEDERAL PUBLICLY OWNED LAND but shall constitute a debt by the NONFEDERAL PUBLIC BODY to the department and are subject to interest charges at the legal rate.

    During the 2011-2013 fiscal biennium

    the FOREST FIRE PROTECTION ASSESSMENT ACCOUNT may be APPROPRIATED to THE EVERGREEN STATE COLLEGE for analysis and recommendations to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the state’s mechanisms for funding fire prevention and suppression activities.

    (8) A public body, having failed to previously pay the forest protection assessments required of it by this section, which fails to suppress a fire on or originating from forest lands owned or administered by it, is liable for the costs of suppression incurred by the department or its agent and is not entitled to reimbursement of costs incurred by the public body in the suppression activities.

    (9) The department may adopt rules to implement this section, including, but not limited to, rules on levying and collecting forest protection assessments.
    [2012 2nd sp.s. c 7 § 922; 2007 c 110 § 1; 2004 c 216 § 1; 2001 c 279 § 2; 1993 c 36 § 1; 1989 c 362 § 1; 1988 c 273 § 3; 1986 c 100 § 35.]
    Notes:
    Effective date — 2012 2nd sp.s. c 7: See note following RCW 2.68.020.
    Effective date — 1993 c 36: “This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect immediately [April 15, 1993].” [1993 c 36 § 3.]