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Rep. Gomberg Continues to Pass Bills for Wildfire Relief and Natural Disaster Recovery

SALEM, OR—House Democrats continue to pass bills to provide wildfire relief to struggling Oregonians across the state. Today the House passed House Bill 2607, which exempts residential housing being constructed to replace housing that was destroyed or damaged by wildfire or by another event that is the basis for a statewide, county, or city declaration of emergency from construction taxes.

The passage of HB 2607 follows yesterday’s House Bill 2341, a bill that will bring critically needed tax relief to Oregonians whose property was destroyed in last year’s devastating fires.

Leading these wildfire recovery efforts in the House are Rep. David Gomberg (D-Central Coast) and Rep. Pam Marsh (D-Southern Jackson County), both of whom have seen first-hand the impacts of natural disasters in their home districts.

“My own neighborhood was burned over and a third of our neighbors are among the affected survivors. We’re doing all we can to help them get back on their feet,” said Gomberg, a chief sponsor on both bills. “This is critical work on a problem we never contemplated: the tax consequences of losing your home to a wildfire. The solutions here are a combination of compassion and common sense. People are anxious to rebuild, and we must provide them with the tools they need to get back on their feet.”

In 2020 alone, wildfires devastated over 3,000 Oregonian families. These bills look to provide a safety net for past and future natural disasters.“  As a coastal legislator, I worry about the day we face a major earthquake and we lose tens of thousands of homes. These bills are written to help in any declared emergency,” said Gomberg.

Next week, Rep. Marsh will carry HB 3272, which will require that insurers allow adequate time and resources for property owners to rebuild.  “Families who lost their homes are trying to literally rebuild their lives,” said Rep. Marsh. “They need to know that their insurer is going to come through and support them during this difficult time.”

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