Today's Law As Amended


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AB-1249 Income taxes: gross income exclusions: wildfires.(2021-2022)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) On September 9, 2015, a tree caught fire in the County of Amador, causing at least two deaths and extensive property damage in the Counties of Amador and Calaveras. This fire came to be known as the 2015 Butte Fire.
(b) In early October of 2017, multiple fires ignited throughout the Counties of Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Butte, Mendocino, and Solano, causing at least 44 deaths and more than $14 billion dollars in property damage. These fires came to be known as the 37 Fire, Adobe Fire, Atlas Fire, Blue Fire, Cascade Fire, Cherokee Fire, Honey Fire, LaPorte Fire, Lobo Fire, Maacama/Youngs Fire, McCourtney Fire, Norrbom Fire, Nuns Fire, Partrick Fire, Pocket Fire, Point Fire, Pressley Fire, Pythian/Oakmont Fire, Redwood/Potter Valley Fire, Sullivan Fire, Sulphur Fire, and the Tubbs Fire, or collectively as the 2017 North Bay Fires.
(c) On November 8, 2018, an electrical transmission line operated by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) ignited a fire in the County of Butte, causing at least 85 deaths, and causing property damage estimated at over $16 billion dollars. This fire came to be known as the 2015 Camp Fire.
(d) On January 29, 2019, owing in large part to liability for damages caused by the fires in 2015, 2017, and 2018, PG&E Corporation and Pacific Gas and Electric Company jointly filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California pursuant to Chapter 11 (commencing with Section 1101) of Title 11 of the United States Code. The plan of reorganization pursuant to that filing was approved by the court on June 20, 2020, and became effective on July 1, 2020. As part of that plan, the Fire Victim Trust was formed.
(e) The Fire Victim Trust evaluates, administers, processes, and resolves eligible claims arising from the fires that occurred in northern California in 2015, 2017, and 2018.

SEC. 2.

 Section 17138.5 is added to the Revenue and Taxation Code, to read:

17138.5.
 (a) Gross income does not include any qualified amount received by a qualified taxpayer.
(b) For purposes of this section:
(1) “Qualified amount” includes any amounts received in settlement by a qualified taxpayer from the Fire Victims Trust, established pursuant to the order of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California dated June 20, 2020, case number 19-30088, docket number 8053.
(2) “Qualified taxpayer” means any of the following:
(A) (i) Any taxpayer that currently owns or previously owned real property located in the County of Amador or Calaveras, who received amounts, incurred expenses, or received amounts from a settlement arising out of or pursuant to the 2015 Butte Fire.
(ii) Any taxpayer that currently resides or previously resided within the County of Amador or Calaveras, who received amounts, incurred expenses, or received amounts from a settlement arising out of or pursuant to the 2015 Butte Fire.
(B) (i) Any taxpayer that currently owns or previously owned real property located in the County of Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Butte, Mendocino, or Solano who received amounts, incurred expenses, or received amounts from a settlement arising out of or pursuant to one or more of the 2017 North Bay Fires.
(ii) Any taxpayer that currently resides or previously resided within the County of Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Butte, Mendocino, or Solano who received amounts, incurred expenses, or received amounts from a settlement arising out of or pursuant to one or more of the 2017 North Bay Fires.
(C) (i) Any taxpayer that currently owns or previously owned real property located in the County of Butte who received amounts, incurred expenses, or received amounts from a settlement arising out of or pursuant to the 2018 Camp Fire.
(ii) Any taxpayer that currently resides or previously resided within the County of Butte who received amounts, incurred expenses, or received amounts from a settlement arising out of or pursuant to the 2018 Camp Fire.
(c) The Fire Victims Trust, shall provide, upon request by the Franchise Tax Board, an annual list of names, addresses, payment dates, and amounts paid to qualified taxpayers.
(d) (1) This section shall apply to taxable years beginning before, on, or after the effective date of the act adding this section.
(2) If the credit or refund of any overpayment of tax resulting from the application of this section to a period before the effective date of this section is prevented as of that date by the operation of any law or rule of law, including res judicata, that credit or refund may nevertheless be allowed or made if the claim therefor is filed before the close of the one-year period beginning on the effective date of the act adding this section.

SEC. 3.

 Section 24308.9 is added to the Revenue and Taxation Code, to read:

24308.9.
 (a) Gross income does not include any qualified amount received by a qualified taxpayer.
(b) For purposes of this section:
(1) “Qualified amount” includes any amounts received in settlement by a qualified taxpayer from the Fire Victims Trust, established pursuant to the order of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California dated June 20, 2020, case number 19-30088, docket number 8053.
(2) “Qualified taxpayer” means any of the following:
(A) Any taxpayer that currently owns or previously owned real property located in the County of Amador or Calaveras who received amounts, incurred expenses, or received amounts from a settlement arising out of or pursuant to the 2015 Butte Fire.
(B) Any taxpayer that currently owns or previously owned real property located in the County of Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Butte, Mendocino, or Solano who received amounts, incurred expenses, or received amounts from a settlement arising out of or pursuant to one or more of the 2017 North Bay Fires.
(C) Any taxpayer that currently owns or previously owned real property located in the County of Butte who received amounts, incurred expenses, or received amounts from a settlement arising out of or pursuant to the 2018 Camp Fire.
(c) The Fire Victims Trust, shall provide, upon request by the Franchise Tax Board, an annual list of names, addresses, payment dates, and amounts paid to qualified taxpayers.
(d) (1) This section shall apply to taxable years beginning before, on, or after the effective date of the act adding this section.
(2) If the credit or refund of any overpayment of tax resulting from the application of this section to a period before the effective date of this section is prevented as of that date by the operation of any law or rule of law, including res judicata, that credit or refund may nevertheless be allowed or made if the claim therefor is filed before the close of the one-year period beginning on the effective date of the act adding this section.
SEC. 4.
 It is the intent of the Legislature to comply with Section 41 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
SEC. 5.
 The Legislature finds and declares that Sections 17138.5 and 24308.9 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, as added by this act, are necessary for the public purpose of preventing undue hardship to taxpayers who reside, or used to reside, in a part of California devastated by wildfires, and do not constitute a gift of public funds within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XVI of the California Constitution.
SEC. 6.
 This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the California Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
In order to provide essential relief to those persons who have suffered injury, loss, inconvenience, and expenses resulting from the devastating wildfires in 2015, 2017, and 2018 as soon as possible, it is necessary that this act take effect immediately.