(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Encouraging communities to take proactive steps to reduce wildfire risk, Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-Marin County) has introduced AB 3258, which would require property insurance providers to take into consideration local government investments in wildfire prevention when determining insurance rates.
Devastating wildfires throughout California over the past several years have forced local governments to rethink their role in reducing future wildfire risk. Marin and Sonoma County voters are being asked on the March 3 ballot to make a specific investment to prevent wildfires in their communities.
The proposed Measure C in Marin County would levy a parcel tax on commercial and residential parcels to raise approximately $19.3 million per year solely for wildfire prevention programs.
“Just like local investments in flood protection lowers flood risk, local wildfire prevention investments will lower future fire risks,” said Marin County Fire Department Chief Jason Weber. “Voter approval of Measure C would help communities better prepare and prevent future wildfires in Marin County. Assemblymember Levine’s AB 3258 is a smart approach to incentivize local wildfire prevention and potentially reduce property insurance rates in the North Bay.”
The proposed Measure G in Sonoma County is a half-cent countywide sales tax which, if passed, would generate about $51 million a year for county fire agencies to increase preparedness and better combat the ongoing threat of devastating wildfire.
“Reducing the risks of future wildfires in Sonoma County is everyone’s responsibility,” said Sonoma County Fire District Chief Mark Heine. “Voter approval of Measure G will give us critical tools necessary to help prevent another devastating wildfire season. Assemblymember Levine’s AB 3258 compliments the work being done in Sonoma County and will encourage other communities to invest in critical wildfire prevention.”
Under Levine’s AB 3258, property owners in areas that have adopted dedicated local fire prevention programs could see a number of benefits including ability to renew a property insurance policy in a historically high risk area or potential modifications to property insurance premiums.
“The climate crisis shows that the threat of future wildfires in the North Bay and across the state are here to stay,” said Assemblymember Levine. “When communities step up and consider the benefits of a dedicated revenue stream to reduce fire risk, residents should see the benefits of those investments. I am thankful for Marin Fire Chief Weber and Sonoma Fire Chief Heine for their support AB 3258 and the relief it could offer to property owners across California.”
AB 3258 will be considered by the State Assembly this spring.
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