Legislation sponsored by California congressional leaders will end federal taxes for CEA-funded seismic retrofit grants, and other programs
SACRAMENTO, CA, July 22, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — The California Seismic Authority (CEA) applauds the introduction of legislation today led by members of the California congressional delegation, that exempts from federal tax disaster mitigation grants from a state-created entity, such as grants of $3,000 CEA is available to California homeowners through the Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB) program.
Senators Dianne Feinstein (CA) and Alex Padilla (D-CA), along with Senators Burr (RN.C) and Telles (RN.C), introduced Senate Bill 2432, the Disaster Mitigation and Tax Equality Act. . US Representative Mike Thompson of California (D-05), along with bipartisan sponsors from several states, formally introduced similar legislation in the US House of Representatives. *
“We commend the bill’s sponsors for their hard work on this legislation and for recognizing that homeowners should not be forced to pay a tax penalty to make their homes safer and more resilient to earthquakes, bushfires and storms,” said Glenn Pomeroy, CEO of CEA. “It is refreshing to see members of both political parties working together to solve a common problem.”
EBB grants, already tax-exempt statewide, provide money to homeowners of old, vulnerable homes in earthquake-risk areas whose homes need to be strengthened through seismic retrofitting. Currently, if Californians receive a FEMA-funded relief grant, the funds are exempt from federal taxes, but if they receive a similar state-funded relief grant, they must pay federal taxes on the funds. This bill would eliminate this disparity.
“The passage of this bill would be great news for the EBB program because it would remove a tax penalty that could prevent Californians from seeking retrofit grants,” said Janelle Maffei, CEA’s Head of Mitigation and Executive Director of BCBC. “EBB has now helped strengthen more than 15,000 California homes against earthquake damage, and as we look for ways to help more Californians strengthen their homes — especially low-income Californians and underserved communities — we want to make sure that we deliver Stronger, safer homes and peace of mind, not higher tax bills.”
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About CEA The California Seismic Authority (CEA) is a California not-for-profit public tool with two distinct roles: Since 1996, CEA has offered residential earthquake insurance while educating Californians about earthquake hazards and helping them reduce their risk of earthquake losses through residential mitigation. Since 2019, CEA has also operated the Wildfire Fund, a disaster fund that provides a source of funding to pay claims arising from a wildfire caused by any large electric utility company that meets the legal requirements to participate in the fund.
Note: The house scale has not yet been printed and an invoice number has not yet been assigned. California House co-sponsors include Pete Aguilar (D-31), Ken Calvert (D-42), Amy Berra (D-07), Judy Chu (D-27), John Garamendi (D-03) and Jimmy Panetta (D-20) ), Linda Sanchez (d – 38), and Jackie Spear (d – 14); South Carolina Representative Tom Rice (R-07); North Carolina Representative David Roser (R-07); Alabama representative Terry Sewell (D-07).
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Sarah Sol, California Seismic Service, (279) 203-5998, [email protected]
Source: California Earthquake Agency
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