Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-Westlake Village) introduced the Protecting Homeowners from Disaster Act, legislation that will restore the tax deduction for property and casualty losses that was eliminated by the 2017 GOP Tax Scam.
“The 2017 Tax Scam has left many families, who lose their homes, in dire financial straits,” said Congresswoman Brownley. “My bill will right this wrong and ensure our tax code does not further victimize families who are struggling to recover and rebuild.”
From kitchen fires to flash floods to tornados — far too often, families who find themselves uninsured or underinsured and must take out loans or deplete their savings to recover from unexpected disasters. Before 2018, property owners were able to deduct these uninsured property and casualty losses from their income. While the deduction didn’t erase all the trauma, it at least provided some reprieve from the burden of income taxes to help families get a fresh start. The 2017 tax law eliminated this deduction, except for those losses sustained in a Presidentially-declared disaster.
By severely limiting the deduction, the new law creates a striking inequity and will harm thousands of American families every single year, who will no longer qualify for the deduction. For instance, according to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking was the leading cause of reported home fires from 2012 to 2016, and fire departments responded to an estimated average of 172,100 home structure fires per year started by cooking activities, or an average of 471 home cooking fires per day. These fires caused an average of 530 civilian deaths, 5,270 reported civilian fire injuries, and $1.1 billion in direct property damage per year. But because of the 2017 tax law, not a single one of these families would be able to deduct these losses from their income taxes.
Read more about the bill, here.