Almost overlooked the obvious
It's not a tax, it's a fee - so the State declares. I shall be billed $150.00 per year because I live in an area vulnerable to wild-fires and they are expensive and difficult to fight.
Of course, I immediately found a lot of reasons I should be exempt from that, I live right off the highway and on a paved road and the nerve they have to include me with the outback-dwellers. So I was grumbling and feeling taken advantage of.
Whoa! Sometimes not wanting to pay something will distort all reasoning - it was not so long ago I had packed a "escape bag" of valuables and documents, had cat-carriers ready and Joann and I were discussing the logistics of trying to save as much as we could - the fire stopped one short mile from here, a friend was battling to save her ranch.
So maybe am not as exempt as I imagined to be. Still don't like to pay the fee, but the State is broke. Don't like the timing, around the time when the property taxes are due and the Holiday season is beginning, but I'll pay up.