Press Release - Financial Relief for Wildfire Victims Passes Oregon Senate

Southwest Oregon's Fish, Farm & Forestry District

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Senator David Brock Smith
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Date: February 28, 2024
Contact: Ashley Kuenzi, Communications Director

Financial Relief for Wildfire Victims Passes Oregon Senate

SALEM, Ore. –
Today, the Oregon Senate unanimously voted to pass SB 1520, a bill which allows Oregon wildfire victims to recover and rebuild their lives without the additional strain of taxation or settlements related to their wildfire losses. The measure proposes to exempt legal settlements from state income taxes for wildfire occurring after January 1, 2020, that were declared state and federal emergencies.

“SB 1520 is the result of a year-long bipartisan effort to give wildfire victims financial relief needed rebuild their homes and get their lives back on track,” said Senator Brian Boquist (R-Dallas), who introduced the measure. “Now that many victims of recent wildfires have received their settlements from Pacific Power, they want to begin the process of rebuilding. However, they often can’t because they owe roughly 45% of their net settlement to the State and Federal Government in taxes. The tax relief provided in this bill means many of these wildfire victims will have the ability to begin rebuilding their homes, businesses, and communities.”

“It is critical that we ease the burden of Oregonians who have already suffered immense loss to catastrophic wildfire in recent years. “This bill is a great opportunity to provide them with needed financial relief,” said Senator Lynn Findley (R-Vale), a chief sponsor.

“I appreciate the work of Senator Boquist and am grateful for our colleagues in passing SB 1520,” said Senator David Brock Smith (R-Port Orford), a chief sponsor. “Too many of my constituents from Curry to Douglas Counties have lost their homes to wildfire due to a lack of management of our federal forest lands. SB 1520 exempts taxes on settlements associated with the loss of their homes due to wildfire. This is the right thing to do.”

A key priority for the Senate Republican Caucus this session is growing the economy and lowering costs for Oregonians. SB 1520 is a key bill on our agenda, which can be found here.

Click Here to view Senator Boquist and my comments on the Senate Floor. 




Yours Truly, 

David Brock Smith

Senator David Brock Smith

Together, We Will Build a Better Oregon

Senator David Brock Smith

Senate District 1
Curry, Coos, and Douglas Counties
Southwest Oregon’s Fish, Farm, and Forestry District.
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1701
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, S-316, Salem, Oregon 97301