The state has encouraged several new fund-raising suggestions, including the one advanced by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He has tried to find new firefighting funds with an insurance surcharge on all home and business owners that would likely raise $130 million extra yearly. Some of the cash will be used to cover the cost the state’s fire department called Cal-Fire.
This is a general alternative that the state would have to finance state services in California because since Cal-Fire’s budget comes widely from the state’s general fund incurred by all California’s taxpayers. According to San Diego senator, Christine Kehoe, the citizens are not paying enough for fire protection and argue that frenzied buildings in rural areas increase the burden of state of firefighters. In this regard, the senator has introduced a bill in the state legislature similar to what the LAO is proposing an annual fee paid by resident who lives in rural areas to help offset the cost of firefighting.
CalFire’s mission has changed as well. The service is mandated with protecting 31 million acres of wildland which includes the states timber stands, watershed, and huge agriculture lands. CalFire protects lands that benefit the public in general.
I agree with the sentiment that fire fighting could be financed by tax. The local government of respective states should introduce tax on people so that whenever fires break out, it can be easily contained because of the availability of fire fighting resources. It is rational to argue that if there was a taxpayer staying in the place with no or little risk of a fire or wildfire, they should be able to pay for services if a fire or wildfire was close their home. If this could be the case, I think that Tennessee could get ways to utilize those funds to enhance firefighting in where they lack the resources.
I concur with the argument that If a charge for service was introduced, it would have to be conducted regionally and not per property as it is the case. This is because as the fire burns across the region or area there would be instituted areas that once a fire started raging in that particular zone or area that required firefighter reaction a fee would be charged to all the individuals within that area. The areas could be instituted based on natural fire prevention areas such as waterways or breaks in tree lines where firefighters would have the ability to prevent its spread.