On September 3, California legislature unanimously approved Senate Bill 303, which extends the deadline for taxpayers by two years to transfer their base year value to a comparable property in the same county if their home was destroyed in a disaster.
The bill was written by Senator Andreas Borgeas (R-Fresno) and inspired by Jim Pesout, a Calaveras County resident of Murphys, who lost his home in Mokelumne Hill during the 2015 Butte Fire.
“California has seen an unprecedented number of forest fires in the past few years that have decimated countless homes across the state,” Borgeas said in a press release. “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 the victims of forest fires. “
If the bill is signed, the bill will give victims of the 2015 Butte Fire additional time to carry over their base year values.
“The Butte Fire damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes in Calaveras County in September 2015,” said Leslie K. Davis, Assessor of Calaveras County, in the press release. “Almost immediately, displaced residents rented or bought available property and the little supply that was available was completely exhausted by demand. After the five-year deadline for replacing their home had expired, those who were unable to complete construction were also affected by the effects of the COVID shutdown. These landowners were hit twice by the disaster; First wildfire, then a pandemic. This suggestion will help many to regain a sense of normalcy. “
The bill is now awaiting Governor Gavin Newsom’s signature.