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California lawmakers OK tax relief bill for San Bruno blast victims

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Moments after San Bruno blast recorded
  • Measure to provide $7,000 property tax exemption for home and business owners
  • City and schools will also benefit from legislation, statement says
  • Governor is expected to sign legislation
  • State's request for federal aid was denied last month

(CNN) -- California lawmakers approved a measure Friday that will allow victims of the San Bruno gas pipe explosion to take advantage of a $7,000 property tax exemption, according to a statement from Assemblyman Jerry Hill.

The deadly September 9 explosion killed eight people and destroyed 37 homes.

Home and business owners will be able to deduct income losses resulting from the explosion and fire caused by the rupture of the Pacific Gas and Electric pipeline, the statement said.

"As we approach the one-month anniversary of the explosion, this is the least the state can do to ensure that victims, local governments and schools are not impacted by declining tax assessments," said Hill, who co-authored the bill with Sen. Leland Yee.

It adds a critical provision to the bill authorizing the state to seek reimbursement if a third party is found to be responsible at the conclusion of the state and federal investigation, the statement said.

The bill, which the governor is expected to sign, also provides assistance to the city of San Bruno, local schools and San Mateo County by requiring the state to backfill first-year local revenue losses resulting from a downward reassessment of taxpayers affected by the disaster, according to the statement.

Last month, federal officials turned down California's request for federal disaster aid.