Bill targets earthquake preparedness tax incentives

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Rep. Paul Cook (R-CA) announced last week that he is co-sponsoring a bill designed to exclude grants supporting residential seismic retrofits from federal taxation.

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The Earthquake Mitigation Incentive and Tax Parity Act ensures homeowners are not penalized for investing in earthquake readiness.

“While these earthquake mitigation measures are tax-free in the State of California, residents are taxed by the federal government on grants they receive to safeguard their homes from earthquakes,” Cook said. “The Trona quakes in July are a reminder that we need to strongly encourage earthquake readiness incentives that will save lives and protect families and their homes.”

Cook maintains residential seismic retrofit strengthens an existing house, making it more resistant to earthquakes by bolting the house to its foundation by adding bracing around the perimeter of the crawl space. The earthquake mitigation measures are already tax-free at the state level in California.

The California Earthquake Authority (CEA) and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services there established the California Residential Mitigation Program to help residents take proactive measures in protecting their homes from earthquake damage.

The Earthquake Brace + Bolt program provides homeowners up to $3,000 toward a retrofit, which costs between $3,000 and $5,000 on average.

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