California Proposes Extending Tax Grace Period to Fire Victims

May 26, 2009

California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner has joined Assemblymember Joel Anderson, R – El Cajon, to support AB 157, and to offer disaster preparation tips for all San Diego residents.

AB 157 would allow Cedar Fire survivors two additional years to rebuild their homes without their property taxes being reset. Under current law, fire survivors are allowed five years to rebuild before higher property taxes are set.

“The time it takes to rebuild homes and lives cannot be underestimated, and for many, restoration is an ongoing challenge,” said Assemblymember Anderson. “I introduced Assembly Bill 157 as a simple way to ensure a realistic timetable for addressing the losses that survivors have suffered.”

“Wildfire survivors face so many hurdles as they try to rebuild their homes and lives, and I am pleased to support legislation that aims at giving survivors more time to navigate this lengthy and complex process,” said Commissioner Poizner. “I also urge all Californians to examine their own homes and take a few simple steps today to protect their homes and belongings so they don’t also fall victim to wildfires.”

Commissioner Poizner also advised all local homeowners to proactively prepare for fires and other potential disasters by conducting a home inventory and updating their insurance policies.

This year’s wildfire season is already under way. The May 5 Jesusita Fire in Santa Barbara destroyed 8,700 acres and burned 80 homes to the ground.

Sources: CDI, California Legislature

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