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Assemblymember Mike Fong Introduces Legislation To Exempt Victims Compensation Payments From State Taxes

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO, CA – Assemblymember Mike Fong (D-Alhambra) introduced Assembly Bill (AB) 2979 to ensure that payments received from the California Victim Compensation Board (CalVCB) are exempt from state taxes.

Last year, the Monterey Park community was devastated when a mass shooting took the lives of 11 community members and injured nine others. Monterey Park was not the only community impacted by violence last year, as communities across California, in Goshen, Trabuco Canyon and Half Moon Bay, also suffered due to crime.

In the aftermath of certain crimes, victims who qualify for assistance from CalVCB can use their reimbursement to cover funeral costs, mental health services, income loss and many other services which aid in the recovery process.

While the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) policy is clear that victim compensation funds are exempt from federal taxes, current California law is not entirely clear as to whether funds from CalVCB are subject to state taxes.

“We have a collective responsibility to not only work to prevent violence from happening in our state, but also support survivors of violence in any way we can,” said Assemblymember Mike Fong. “This bill is important to ensure that many Californians do not experience an additional burden after already experiencing the unimaginable.”

“In the months following the mass shooting in Monterey Park, there was an immediate need for resources, and CalVCB played a crucial role in creating access to those resources, but last year, many of the survivors were still hesitant to utilize this resource due to the lack of clarity surrounding state taxes,” said Peter Ng, the CEO of Chinatown Service Center, a community based organization in the San Gabriel Valley that continues to help survivors of the shooting.

AB 2979 will create consistency with federal IRS policy and clarify that payments from CalVCB are exempt from state income taxes to ensure that victims do not endure additional stress.

“I look forward to working with my legislative colleagues to help thousands of survivors across the state, as they continue to heal after a tragedy,” said Assemblymember Mike Fong.

AB 2979 is co-authored by Assemblymembers Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park), Kate Sanchez (R-Murrieta) and Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), and is pending referral to a policy committee.