Earthquake Mitigation Incentive
& Tax Parity Act
28, 2019 Washington D.C. ____
U.S. Congressman Paul Cook
(R-Apple Valley) announced that he is co-sponsoring the Earthquake Mitigation Incentive and Tax Parity Act to exclude
grants that support residential seismic retrofits from federal taxation. A
residential seismic retrofit strengthens an existing house, making it more
resistant to earthquakes by bolting the house to its foundation, and adding
bracing around the perimeter of the crawl space. These earthquake mitigation
measures are already tax-free at the state level in California.
A study from the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) estimated that earthquake losses in the United
States total about $4.4 billion per year, with California alone accounting for
$3.3 billion in damages.
To address this significant risk, the California Earthquake Authority (CEA)
and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services established the California
Residential Mitigation Program to help residents take proactive measures in
protecting their homes from earthquake damage. Their Earthquake Brace + Bolt Program provides
homeowners up to $3,000 toward a retrofit, which costs between $3,000 and
$5,000 on average.
Representative Cook said, “We must
ensure that homeowners aren’t 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. The Trona quakes in July
2019 are a reminder that we need to strongly encourage earthquake readiness
incentives that will save lives and protect families and their homes.”
member of the House Natural Resources and Armed Services Committees, Cook
served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the
U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star
and two Purple Hearts.