Tax Relief

Sen. Borgea’s tax breaks for forest fireplace victims on Newsom’s desk

Fire activities in the Sierra Nevada have created a precarious situation for property owners looking to renovate or insure their homes. File photo.

published September 3, 2021 – 14:11
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Until the signature of Governor Gavin Newsom, the victims of forest fires will be exempt from property tax.

Sen. Andreas Borgeas wrote Senate Act 303 the was unanimously approved today by both houses of the California legislature.

The bill extends the deadline by two years for a taxpayer to carry over their base year value to a comparable property in the same county if their home is destroyed by a disaster. Typically, individuals have five years to transfer the base year value of their destroyed property. The draft law applies to the base year of the 2015-2016 financial year until today.

The bill is now waiting to be signed by the governor.

“California has seen an unprecedented number of forest fires in the past few years that have decimated countless homes across the state,” said Borgeas. “Once a house is destroyed, residents face a vortex of obstacles and costs when trying to build a new home. SB 303 offers the victims of forest fires additional relief by giving eligible residents a total of seven years to build or buy a new home. The state of California should do everything in its power to help forest fire victims. “

The bill was presented in February of this year and will come into force immediately after its adoption.

Calaveras County’s assessor Leslie Davis said the displaced residents of the Butte Fire rented or bought available property in 2015 and the supply was exhausted. The five-year deadline to replace their home has passed and some have been unable to complete construction due to Covid-19 shutdowns.

“These landowners were hit twice by the disaster; First wildfire, then a pandemic. This suggestion will help many regain a sense of normalcy, ”said Davis.

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