Legislation by local reps signed into law

Senator Andreas Borgeas’ (R-Fresno) SB 303 on property value transfers after disaster, Senator Shannon Grove’s (R-Bakersfield) SB 287 easing recreational trailer licensing signed into law

CENTRAL VALLEY – Local valley senators’ legislation made the cut in Governor Gavin Newsom’s Oct. 7 flurry of bill signings aimed at showing the state’s commitment to rural communities with the California Comeback Plan.

Senator Andreas Borgeas’ (R-Fresno) SB 303 was signed into law, which adds two years to the time period for a taxpayer to transfer their base year value to a comparable property in the same county if their home was destroyed by a disaster.

“California has witnessed—and is currently experiencing—an unprecedented number of wildfires in recent years that have decimated countless homes throughout the state,” Borgeas said. “Once a home is destroyed, residents are faced with a maelstrom of barriers and costs as they race against the clock to rebuild or repair their home. The state of California should be doing everything within its power to help wildfire victims get back on their feet.”

Though thus far there has been minimal property damage from the KNP Complex Fire, last year, the SQF Complex Fire, the largest wildfire in Tulare County history, torched the county for almost five months starting Aug. 19. 2020 when the lighting-caused Castle and Shotgun Fires were discovered and would burn a total of 174,000 acres.

228 structures were destroyed and 17 were damaged over the course of the fire, decimating the mountain communities of Cedar Slope, Alpine Village and Sequoia Crest, which lost three quarters of their cabins.

Borgeas’ bill is harmonious with a February action the Tulare County Board of Supervisors took to waive a previous requirement for owner applications to reassess damaged or destroyed property for tax relief, potentially expediting much needed tax relief for property owners affected by fires and future disasters.

SB 287, penned by Senator Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield), allows recreationists and horse enthusiasts to tow their weekend trailers without having to undergo commercial licensing requirements and additional fees required for heavier commercial trailers. The bill will permit a class C driver’s license holder to operate a vehicle when towing a trailer between 10,000 and 15,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight, if the towing is not for compensation or commercial purposes.

“The bi-partisan victory we have achieved on SB 287 is a major win for my constituents and the entire equestrian community,” Grove said. “We have brought light to an issue that, for years, has bred confusion and has become an unnecessary burden for the equestrian enthusiasts in our state.”

As the bill passed through the Assembly appropriations committee, amendments were placed on the bill delaying its implementation until 2027. The committee cited the California Department of Motor Vehicles’ concern of budgetary needs and time for programming updates.

“I am grateful for the equestrian community’s engagement and support on the bill and although delayed implementation was not the ideal outcome, it is still a major win for us,” Grove said. “I will continue to work with state agencies and the legislature as a strong voice for the equestrian community.”

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