CA Bill Wants to Provide a Tax Break on PG&E Settlement Money for Camp Fire Survivors

An assembly bill that would help Camp Fire survivors is one step closer to the legislative process, the bill would offer a certain tax break when it comes to the PG&E Fire Victims Trust.

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. – An assembly bill that would help Camp Fire survivors is one step closer to the legislative process, the bill offers a certain tax break when it comes to the PG&E Fire Victims Trust.

The bill called AB 1249, authored by Assemblyman James Gallagher, would exempt fire survivors from paying state taxes on their PG&E settlement money.

It’s something that would help several survivors, including Victoria Sinclaire. Sinclaire is well known in the Paradise area for having the first home that was rebuilt and finished in town after the 2018 Camp Fire.

Sinclaire has a big family that she takes care of, and when the fire ripped through her home, there was a lot of emotional pain they dealt with.

“I know the attorneys are trying to explain to me. ‘Well if it was for a physical injury this wouldn’t be a question it would be exempt.’ And I was like that’s really ridiculous because this is maybe not physical but emotional damage and it’s got long-lasting effects on it. We shouldn’t be taxed on it,” Sinclaire said.

If the bill is signed by Governor Newsom, Assembly Bill 1249 would also exempt state taxes on the PG&E settlement money for survivors of the 2015 Butte Fire and the 2017 North Bay fires.

This bill will now go to the assembly appropriations committee for a hearing sometime in January of 2022.

The bill still has a long way to go before it makes it to the governor’s desk. It still has to pass in a fiscal committee, pass through both chambers, and then go back to the committee process. Then a third reading, most bills require a majority vote, according to the CA Senate website. 

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