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SACRAMENTO, Feb. 7, 2020 – California State Treasurer Fiona Ma announced today that the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, (CTCAC) which she chairs, is clarifying its regulations to make certain that 13 counties hit by disasters receive $100 million in new federal tax credits.

The federal credits, carried by Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Napa, and approved by the federal government in December, are intended to finance housing projects in 13 counties struck by wildfires in 2017 and 2018, including the Camp Fire, the Tubbs Fire, the Thomas Fire and the Mendocino Complex.

“We want to make it crystal clear that these tax credits are going to help counties that have been devasted by disasters,” said Treasurer Ma. “I salute the resilience, dedication, and creativity of these communities and I’m glad we can help them rebuild.”

State Senator Mike McGuire, D-Santa Rosa, thanked Treasurer Ma for her efforts. “This $100 million in tax credits will be a huge shot in the arm for the rebuilding of our communities and desperately needed affordable housing. We’re incredibly grateful to Treasurer Ma for moving so fast and ensuring the tax credits will be spent as intended – in the 13 counties devastated by these massive wildfires. We are also truly appreciative of the leadership of Congressmen Thompson and Huffman, who have been fighting to make this allocation a reality for over a year now,” he said.

“It is critically important that our communities that have been hit hard by wildfires have all of the resources they need to rebuild and recover, which is why I carried legislation to provide $100 million in new Federal tax credits to help create much needed affordable housing in disaster-stricken counties,” said Rep. Thompson.  “I greatly appreciate Treasurer Ma’s commitment to ensuring that this assistance is allocated as Congress intended so that those displaced by wildfires can have access to affordable housing.”

In response to public comments finding the regulations unclear, CTCAC is revising regulations to give projects in the 13 counties two years to seek credits for housing projects. The counties are Butte, Lake, Los Angeles, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Orange, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Shasta, Sonoma, Ventura, and Yuba.

Under federal regulations the credits must be used within two years or lost. If there are any unused credits at the end of 2021, to avoid losing them, the new regulations allow projects seeking to house the homeless to apply.

The revised regulations would exempt communities hit by disaster from the typical 9 percent tax credit rules, which reward projects located close to amenities such as shopping, libraries, and parks.

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CTCAC is also working to develop regulations to ensure that the disaster areas occurring in large or wealthy counties are not given an unfair advantage over disaster areas in smaller counties or in counties with fewer people. More information is here: https://www.treasurer.ca.gov/ctcac/index.asp

Fiona Ma is California’s 34th State Treasurer. She was elected on November 6, 2018 with more votes (7,825,587) than any other candidate for treasurer in the state’s history. She is the first woman of color and the first woman Certified Public Accountant (CPA) elected to the position. The State Treasurer’s Office was created in the California Constitution in 1849. It provides financing for schools, roads, housing, recycling and waste management, hospitals, public facilities, and other crucial infrastructure projects that better the lives of residents. California is the world’s fifth-largest economy and Treasurer Ma is the state’s primary banker. Her office processes more than $2 trillion in payments within a typical year. She provides transparency and oversight for the government’s investment portfolio and accounts, as well as for the state’s surplus funds. Treasurer Ma oversees an investment portfolio of more than $86 billion, approximately $25 billion of which are local government funds. She serves as agent for sale for all State bonds, and is trustee on over $94 billion of outstanding debt.