Wildfire Rebuilding Considerations

In the wake of the devastating Northern California wildfires, decisions on whether to rebuild or sell are awaiting consideration and each comes with its own consequences. Properties need to be reassessed and some programs allow for mitigation of your property taxes or a transfer of your base year value to a new property. Losses beyond your insurance coverage may be lessened through a disaster relief casualty loss claim on your federal income tax return for the current or prior tax year and/or through applying to the FEMA Individuals & Households Program (IHP). Government-sponsored cleanup can be opted-into with hazardous material removal completed by the EPA and general cleanup managed by the Army Corps of Engineers.

If you are considering rebuilding, keep in mind that a nationwide shortage of construction laborers and other recent disasters will likely lead to extended reconstruction times. Be wary of contractor fraud; if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is. Help protect yourself by getting more than one quote. Research contractors as much as possible, simple things like doing a quick online search, checking the BBB, and asking for references (and checking them) can help save later headaches. When you do choose a contractor, having a contract written up that includes the price and work to be completed and requires changes to be agreed to in writing can help protect you from surprises in your bill.

Contact us today for a personalized assessment of your situation, including potential tax implications.

Questions? We can help.

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