Help for Victims of the Valley Fires

I wanted to share some valuable information from an article in the SF Chronicle this morning regarding relief for anyone affected by these fires.  It discusses grants from FEMA and the California Office of Emergency Services; Tax Relief;  and Property Tax reassessments.

Contact your Insurance Agent immediately if you have been affected by these fires and recommend that anyone you know who has been affected by these fires do the same.

Homeowners, renters and businesses can now apply for grants (which don’t have to be repaid) or low-interest loans to cover uninsured fire-related expenses such as temporary housing;funeral and emergency medical costs; replacing personal property, including cars; and repairing and replacing homes and buildings.  To apply, go to or call (800) 621-3362.  FEMA and the California Office of Emergency Services will set up centers where people can apply in person within the next week, after it’s safe to be outside in case lines form.  Applicants may be referred to the Small Business Administration, which is handling disaster loans to businesses and homeowners.

Fire victims also may be eligible for property tax relief.  “In many cases, the damaged property can be reappraised in its current condition, with some taxes refunded to the property owner.  Once rebuilt, the property’s pre-damaged value will be restored,” the State Board of Equalization said.  To qualify, you must file a claim with your county assessor’s office within 12 months from the date of damage or destruction and the loss estimate must be at least $10,000.  This applies whether it was a single-home fire or part of a major disaster.

If the fire was part of a governor-proclaimed state of emergency, owners of damaged property also can apply to have their next property tax payment deferred without penalty or interest until the county assessor has reassessed the property and sent the owner a corrected bill.  The next regularly scheduled due date is Dec. 10.  If your property taxes are paid along with your mortgage payment as part of an impound account, you’re not eligible for deferral but an still apply for reassessment.


Here is the link to the article:


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