McGuire Secures Policy to put Millions Back into the Pockets of Fire Survivors

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Sacramento–Senate Majority Leader Mike McGuire has successfully embedded his legislation, SB 370, into the state budget which will be passed by the Legislature today. The policy ensures 2019 Kincade Fire survivors will be exempt from paying state income taxes on settlement awards from PG&E, allowing survivors to put more money back in their pockets to rebuild their homes and lives.

The 2019 fire, which was sparked by a faulty PG&E transmission line, forced nearly 100,000 people to flee, and destroyed 174 homes. 

“The Kincade Fire was massive and horribly destructive. Hundreds of neighbors lost everything. PG&E victimized these survivors once, they shouldn’t have to suffer again,” said Senator McGuire. “This proposed legislation was simple but incredibly important: Eliminate all state taxes on Kincade Fire PG&E settlement funds and put millions back into the pockets of deserving survivors.”

The investor-owned utility already reached a $125 million settlement with the state, and paid $31 million to Sonoma County and the cities of Santa Rosa, Windsor, Cloverdale and Healdsburg for government damages incurred. But residents who lost their homes and livelihoods are still waiting.

PG&E has estimated liabilities as high as $800 million for personal damage claims which are wrapped up in a settlement case in front of the courts.