Republican state Senator Ted Gaines has led the effort to overturn the annual fee. But he told the Associated Press that organizers won't be able to collect enough signatures to force a ballot referendum next year.
Gaines says he may try to repeal the fee through the Legislature instead - but that would be difficult because Democrats are in the majority.
By law, the fee can run up to $150. But the state fire board has voted to charge property owners no more than $90 starting next year. Governor Jerry Brown is also looking to fix flaws in the bill he signed in July as part of the state budget.