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Congressman Mike Thompson

Representing the 5th District of CALIFORNIA

Thompson, Calvert, Harris and Feinstein Reintroduce Earthquake Mitigation Legislation

Apr 3, 2019
Press Release
Bill would exclude mitigation incentives from federal taxation

Washington – Today House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures Chairman Mike Thompson (CA-05), Rep. Ken Calvert (CA-42), Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) announced the reintroduction of the Earthquake Mitigation Incentive and Tax Parity Act, legislation that makes incentives for residential seismic retrofits tax-free at the federal level. This will help expand earthquake mitigation efforts and bring the federal policy in line with California state policy.  

“Nearly five years ago, my constituents were rocked by the South-Napa Earthquake, which left more than 1,500 homes seriously damaged – many were shaken from their foundations. Disasters in our district and across our nation are devastating and we must do everything we can right now to prepare and mitigate their harmful impacts,” said Chairman Thompson. “That’s why I am proud to reintroduce the bipartisan and bicameral Earthquake Mitigation Incentive and Tax Parity Act, which allows homeowners to more easily retrofit their homes to better withstand earthquakes. This saves the taxpayer money upfront, keeps people safer, and saves the government money when it comes time to clean up after a disaster. These incentives have already been widely successful in California and I look forward to making this our policy nation-wide.”

“It’s critical that we take the steps necessary to prepare for major earthquakes. That’s why I’m proud to join Rep. Mike Thompson and cosponsor the Earthquake Mitigation Incentive and Tax Parity Act to incentivize homeowners to make seismic retrofits,” said Rep. Calvert. “Congress should approve this bill to encourage these potentially life-saving investments.”

“Homeowners in earthquake-prone areas understand that they need to be prepared for potential disaster, and the federal government must work with them as a supportive partner,” said Senator Harris. “This legislation would ensure that homeowners in California and across the country aren’t unfairly penalized for investing in new projects to protect their homes.”

“The federal government should be doing everything it can to help make homes earthquake-safe,” said Senator Feinstein “Incentivizing homeowners for participating in state and local earthquake home-improvement programs will make these vital upgrades more affordable and encourage families to make these lifesaving improvements.”

“Scientists say the next big earthquake is inevitable, and a home built prior to 1980 is like a ticking time bomb,” said Glenn Pomeroy, CEO of the California Earthquake Authority. “Californians who do the right thing, and retrofit their older home, should not be penalized by being taxed on their retrofit grant.” 

Under current law, the federal government taxes residents on the grants they receive to retrofit their homes to better withstand earthquakes. This bill would eliminate those taxes, giving homeowners greater incentive to make those accommodations.

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Congressman Mike Thompson is proud to represent California’s 5th Congressional District, which includes all or part of Contra Costa, Lake, Napa, Solano and Sonoma Counties.  He is a senior member of the House Committee on Ways and Means where he chairs the Subcommittee on Tax Policy. Rep. Thompson is Chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. He is also Co-Chair of the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Wine Caucus and a member of the fiscally-conservative Blue Dog Coalition.