Governor Signs Bradford Bill to Help Residents of the City of Carson
SACRAMENTO – Last Friday Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 343, by Senator Steven Bradford (D–Gardena), which provides an immediate income tax exclusion for payments received by Carson residents as part of a major pollution cleanup effort ongoing in the Carousel neighborhood.
“For half a century, these 285 households in Carson have stood above oil-soaked ground,” said Senator Bradford. “These homes were wrongfully built atop former oil reservoirs and the residents have suffered from toxic contamination ever since. This bill will finally give clarity and equity to residents, ensuring they do not have to hire a tax attorney or pay state taxes on this so-called ‘income.’ This is the same exemption already given to those in more affluent areas who have suffered similar disasters, like in Porter Ranch and San Bruno.”
In the 1960s, three sizeable in-ground oil reservoirs in Carson were replaced with residential housing — but significant contamination remained. Work finally began in 2016 to remove this pollution, which requires residents to temporarily relocate while up to ten vertical feet of soil around their homes is replaced. But payments made as a part of this process are being reported as income, leaving the burden on individual residents to hire attorneys to prove what is and is not taxable. While SB 343 only addresses state income taxes, it will also increase pressure on the federal government and IRS to apply the same standard to federal income taxes.
“The issue of equitable treatment of Carson residents on these taxes has always been a priority of the City Council,” said City of Carson Mayor Albert Robles. “SB 343 will provide some direct relief from State taxes, and we further hope that the bill can provide some certainty around the issue of taxability for Carousel residents. As the project is currently about one-fourth complete, there are still nearly two hundred future homeowners that haven’t faced the issue yet, and we’ll be living with this project until 2023.”
Senator Bradford represents the Los Angeles County communities of Carson, Compton, Gardena, Harbor City, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, Lennox, San Pedro, Torrance, Watts, Willowbrook, and Wilmington.