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Politics

Bill to subsidize seismic retrofitting for apartments in limbo on Governor Brown’s desk




California Governor Jerry Brown prepares to sign copies of the California Homeowner Bill of Rights (AB 278 and SB 900) on July 11, 2012 in San Francisco, California.
California Governor Jerry Brown prepares to sign copies of the California Homeowner Bill of Rights (AB 278 and SB 900) on July 11, 2012 in San Francisco, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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A bill that would provide subsidies for seismic retrofitting of apartment buildings across California now lacks only a signature from Governor Jerry Brown before it’s able to be considered law.

But questions still remain about whether Governor Brown, who has been somewhat unpredictable in the past when it’s come to financial decisions, will actually sign the legislation.

AB 428 uses tax credits to provide 30% of the cost of retrofitting buildings that aren’t up to current seismic standards. Building owners would get the tax credits on a first-come, first-served basis, and would receive the money over a five year period after completing the retrofit. Every $100 spent on a retrofit would create a $30 tax break. The credit would cap at $12 million every year, in addition to any leftover money from the previous year that is rolled over.

Opponents of the bill aren’t against it on a fundamental ground, but a financial one. Their concern is that a first-come, first-served tax credit isn’t the smartest way to fund the retrofits.

Assembly Bill No. 428

Guests:

Debra Carlton, senior vice president of public affairs for the California Apartment Association

Lenny Goldberg, executive director of the California Tax Reform Association