Dodd's Tax Relief Bill For Disaster Victims Signed Into Law

The idea for this new law was brought forward by Board of Equalization Chairwoman Fiona Ma in the aftermath of the 2015 Valley fire in Lake County.

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LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – A new law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown will provide much-needed tax relief for business impacted by natural disasters. 

The bill, authored by Assemblyman Bill Dodd (D-Napa) and Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg), will grant the Board of Equalization the authority to defer business tax payments without additional costs or fees. 

The idea for this new law was brought forward by Board of Equalization Chairwoman Fiona Ma in the aftermath of the 2015 Valley fire in Lake County.

“The Board of Equalization can now grant tax relief to countless business across the state who have been impacted by natural disasters. I’d like to thank Gov. Jerry Brown for recognizing the urgency of this bill and acknowledging that California needs to do more to assist victims in the recovery process,” said Dodd. “This was a team effort and I’d like to acknowledge Sen. Mike McGuire and Chairwoman Fiona Ma who fought tirelessly to help provide victims with the relief they deserve.”

“Lake County has seen tremendous devastation in the wake of the Valley fire last year, and now the Clayton Fire and small businesses need assistance in the aftermath of these disasters. We’re grateful to partner with Assemblymember Dodd and BOE Member Ma to ensure local business owners have some peace of mind and needed tax relief during this recovery period,” McGuire said.

Over the past several years California has experienced some of the most destructive fires in its history.

In 2015 Assemblymember Dodd’s Fourth Assembly District contained nearly 58 percent of the total extinguished acreage by Cal Fire across the entire state. 

In Lake County alone, the Valley fire destroyed nearly two thousand structures over a 23-day period, ultimately becoming the third most destructive fire in California history.

The 2016 wildfire season has already devastated communities across the state, with the Clayton fire in Lake County destroying hundreds of buildings.

“Victims are already traumatized from their disaster experience. Thank you Gov. Brown for providing tax relief to small business owners. I’ve been honored to work with Assemblymember Dodd and Sen. McGuire on AB 1559, which will help provide tax relief assistance for businesses affected by these kinds of disasters,” said Ma.

Under this legislation, the Board of Equalization could grant filing extensions on a quarterly basis to victims of natural disasters for sales tax, use tax, and other taxes. 

The bill will take immediate effect statewide, empowering the BOE to provide relief to businesses impacted by recent fires from Lake County to Big Sur to San Bernardino County.

The bill also would allow the BOE to help victims recover from future major fires, floods, earthquakes and other natural disasters.

Dodd represents the Fourth Assembly District, which includes all or portions of Yolo, Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Solano and Colusa counties. Visit his Web site at .