or before August 1, 1994, the department shall, pursuant to 76-13-207,
MCA, set the annual fire assessment fee due from landowners pursuant to Title
76, chapter 13, parts 1 and 2, MCA. The total of all statewide landowner assessments
must be as equal as administratively possible to but no greater than one-third
of the amount appropriated by the legislature to fund the protection costs.
individual assessments must be established using the following criteria:
person who is responsible for fire protection pursuant to 76-13-108
and 76-13-201, MCA, and for whom the department provides fire
protection, must be assessed a per capita landowner fee. The total per capita
landowner assessments statewide from persons who own 20 acres or less of land
for which the department provides protection must be as close as
administratively possible to 50% of the total private landowner assessments.
(b) A person
who owns more than 20 acres of land for which the department provides
protection shall, in addition to the fee assessed pursuant to (a) , pay a per
acre fee for each whole acre that the person owns in excess of 20 acres. The
total of all assessments statewide from persons who own more than 20 acres must
be as close as administratively possible to 50% of the total statewide
(3) Except as provided in (a) , the per capita and per acre fees set for 1994 must
remain in effect for subsequent years.
department shall reset the per capita and per acre fees whenever:
is necessary to reset fees to obtain the amount appropriated by the
fees assessed statewide pursuant to (2) (a) on persons who own 20 acres or less
of land for which the department provides protection obtain more than 55% or
less than 45% of the total amount appropriated by the legislature.
(b) whenever the department resets the fees pursuant to (a) , it shall do so in
accordance with (2) and the fees must remain in effect until either of the
conditions in (a) is met.