Bill Would Let Quake Victims Deduct Full Value of Losses


Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-Panorama City) said he will introduce a bill in Congress today allowing victims of the Northridge earthquake to deduct the full value of their property losses on their federal income taxes.

The bill, which has seven California co-sponsors, would particularly benefit “middle-class taxpayers who suffered substantial damage to their homes or personal belongings but who will not qualify for or choose to seek FEMA assistance, HUD grants and loans or other federal relief programs,” Berman said Monday.

Current law permits taxpayers to deduct casualty losses only to the extent that they exceed 10% of their adjusted gross income. Berman’s legislation would amend the Internal Revenue Service Code to allow full casualty loss deductions for federally declared disaster losses occurring on or after Jan. 17, 1994.


Taxpayers hit by the Northridge quake could elect to deduct such losses against either 1993 or 1994 income, Berman said.

The bill is being co-sponsored by California Reps. Buck McKeon (R-Santa Clarita), Elton Gallegly (R-Simi Valley), Henry Waxman (D-Los Angeles), Carlos Moorhead (R-Burbank), Anthony Beilenson (D-Woodland Hills), Julian Dixon (D-Los Angeles) and Robert Matsui (D-Sacramento).