Fire activity in the Sierra Nevadas has led to a precarious position for property owners trying to renovate or insure their cabins. File photo.

published on September 3, 2021 - 2:11 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Pending Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature, wildfire victims will receive property tax relief.

Sen. Andreas Borgeas authored Senate Bill 303 that was approved unanimously by both houses of the California Legislature today. 

The bill will extend the time period by two years for a taxpayer to transfer their base year value to a comparable property in the same county if their home was destroyed by a disaster. Typically individuals have five years to transfer the base year value of their destroyed property. The bill applies to the base year of the 2015-2016 fiscal year to the present. 

The bill is now awaiting the governor’s signature.

“California has seen an unprecedented number of wildfires in recent years that have decimated countless homes throughout the state,” said Borgeas. “Once a home is destroyed, residents are faced with a maelstrom of barriers and costs as they seek to build a new home. SB 303 provides additional relief for wildfire victims by allowing qualifying residents a total of seven years to rebuild or acquire a new home. The state of California should be doing everything in its power to assist wildfire victims.”

The bill was introduced in February of this year, and upon passing, will take effect immediately. 

Calaveras County Assessor Leslie Davis said that displaced residents from the Butte Fire in 2015 were renting or buying available property and the supply was exhausted. The five-year deadline to replace their home has passed, and some have not been able to complete construction due to Covid-19 shutdowns. 

“These property owners have been doubly hit by disaster; first a wildfire, then a pandemic. This proposal will help many regain a sense of normalcy,” Davis said.

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