Congressmen Doug LaMalfa and Mike Thompson spoke on the United States House of Representatives floor to urge their colleagues to pass H.R. 7305. This legislation would exempt thousands of fire victims who are receiving compensation from the Fire Victim Trust from having to pay federal income tax on their settlement money and attorney fees.
“Throughout California there are tens of thousands of residents who lost their homes, belongings, and for some, even their loved ones, due to wildfires,” LaMalfa said. “In 2020 the Fire Victim Trust was established to compensate survivors of the 2015 Butte, 2017 North Bay, and 2018 Camp Fires with $13.5 billion of settlement award money. Survivors have waited years for compensation to rebuild their lives, and they have long awaited these funds. Instead, to add insult, many of them are facing immense tax burden and navigating the uncertainty of our ambiguous tax code, trying to find concrete answers of how much they may or may not owe the government in taxes. We should not force survivors to pay federal taxes on compensation that they would otherwise use to rebuild their lives, and we certainly should not be forcing them to pay taxes on funds that are going to the lawyers involved. Congressman Thompson and I introduced H.R. 7305 to correct this injustice. I am urging all my colleagues of the House to support this bipartisan legislation and bring much needed financial reprieve to these wildfire survivors. They shouldn’t have to live with this uncertainty over their heads; this needs to be passed by the end of this year.”