September 26, 2019

Harris, Feinstein, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Provide Tax Relief to California Wildfire Victims

WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Senators Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on Wednesday joined Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) in introducing the bipartisan Hurricanes Florence and Michael and California Wildfire Tax Relief Act to provide tax relief to victims of last year’s wildfires in California and other natural disasters.

“Last year’s wildfires devastated communities across California and disrupted the lives of thousands of Californians who are still recovering and rebuilding,” said Senator Harris. “The United States Congress has a responsibility to support those who are continuing the recovery process, which is why I’m proud to join with my colleagues on this legislation to provide them with much-needed tax relief.”

“Wildfires in California are getting worse and worse,” said Senator Feinstein. “Last year’s Camp Fire was the deadliest and most destructive in California’s history, killing 85 people and destroying 14,000 homes. It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. And as long as these fires continue, we need to do more to help the victims. Thousands of families across the country are rebuilding after natural disasters and they need our help. That’s why our bipartisan bill offers tax relief for families to rebuild. It’s a no-brainer bill and deserves to pass quickly.”

The Hurricanes Florence and Michael and California Wildfire Tax Relief Act would ensure individuals and businesses within the federally-designated disaster zones would continue to receive much-need tax relief.

The bill would:

  • Allow more taxpayers to claim a deduction for personal casualty losses by removing the requirement to itemize;
  • Remove penalties on certain hardship withdrawals from retirement accounts;
  • Encourage employers in hard-hit areas to retain employees;
  • Allow taxpayers to use earned income from the preceding year when claiming Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit;
  • Suspend limits on charitable contributions to disaster relief efforts.

Senators Harris, Feinstein, Burr, Tillis, Graham, and Rubio introduced similar legislation last Congress in the aftermath of Hurricanes Florence and Michael and the California wildfires.

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