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Gov. Jerry Brown announced Friday he signed a controversial budget bill to charge rural property owners up to $150 each for fire protection.

But the Democratic governor said in a signing message that lawmakers must clean up the proposal in subsequent legislation, though he didn't specify what needed to be changed. The state is counting on Assembly Bill X1 29 to raise $50 million.

Brown said that due to population and development growth in "state responsibility areas," taxpayer-borne costs for fire protection have risen in recent decades.

"A fee consistent with the 'beneficiary pays principle,' such as the one intended in this bill, can achieve significant General Fund savings," he wrote. "However, as currently drafted, the revenues may not materialize."

In a separate action, Brown vetoed legislation to restart a program that allows low-income elderly, blind and disabled to postpone their property tax payments. Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger suspended the Senior Citizens' Property Tax Postponement Law in 2009. Brown said in a veto message that the state could not afford the $19.3 million cost in AB X1 34.



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