On October 8, 2023, California Governor Newsom signed into law, a three-year property reassessment extension for California home owners whose properties were damaged or destroyed by the Woolsey and Camp Fires. 

The bill provides homeowners the additional time to rebuild. As Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin stated, Assembly Bill 1500 provides victims of the Woolsey and Camp fires with the additional time needed to complete reconstruction and retain their base-year property tax values.” The Camp and Woolsey fires were two of the most devastating fires in California in recent history.  

The Camp Fires 

The Camp Fires started in November 8, 2018. The fire originated on Camp Creek Road and was caused by a faulty electrical wire owned and operated by utility company Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). The Camp Fire ravaged over 153,000 acres, destroyed the towns of Paradise and Concow, and resulted in 88 fatalities. The CaseyGerry fire attorneys represented those who were impacted by the fire, and fought for justice against PG&E.  

The Woolsey Fires 

In November 2018, a fire started near Woolsey Canyon Road in Ventura County, an hour and a half from Los Angeles. The fire spread rapidly, burning 98,000 acres of land, and destroyed areas within the San Fernando Valley and Malibu. Three lives were lost to the fire. The fire was allegedly started by faulty equipment owned and maintained by public utility company, SoCal Edison. 

Due to the devastation caused by the fires, and the delays due to litigation, settlement payments, and the 2020 COVID 19 pandemic, residents affected by the fires faced numerous challenges in rebuilding their homes that were destroyed in the fires.  

What does AB 1500 entail? 

The AB 1500 bill which became law on October 8, 2023 provides homeowners affected by wildfires an additional three years to rebuild before the value of their homes are fully reassessed. This extends the previous bill significantly which allowed homeowners five years to rebuild. However, due to the extreme devastation of the 2018 fires, and COVID 19 in 2020, the bill was extended for three more years.  

AB1500 was introduced by Assemblymembers James Gallagher who represents California’s 3rd District (Sacramento, Butte and more), and Jacqui Irwin who represents the California’s 42nd District (Los Angeles and Ventura County) and is intended to provide relief to those who suffered in the fires.  

According to trackbill.com, the AB1500 extends the initial five year rebuild period to homeowners who suffered extensive damage or lost their homes in wildfires that occurred between November 1, 2018 and November 30, 2018, including the Woolsey Fires and the Camp Fires. 

The CaseyGerry fire attorneys are delighted that homeowners who suffered damage or loss of their property have been given an extended grace period to rebuild their homes and lives after such a devastating experience.  

If you have been impacted by a wildfire and would like to explore your legal options, please contact us for a confidential consultation. 

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