The act creates a sales and use tax exemption for construction and building materials used directly in rebuilding or repairing a residential structure damaged or destroyed by a declared wildfire disaster in calendar year 2020, 2021, or 2022 (wildfire rebuild exemption). In addition to the state sales and use tax, the wildfire rebuild exemption extends to the sales and use taxes levied by the regional transportation district and the scientific and cultural facilities district. The exemption does not apply to the sales or use taxes levied by any other local government, including any city, town, county, special purpose district, or limited purpose governmental entity. The exemption is to be administered by the department of revenue (department) solely as a refund allowed to qualified homeowners. To be qualified, a homeowner must certify that:
- The homeowner was the owner of the residential structure to be repaired or rebuilt (qualified residential structure) at the time it was damaged or destroyed by the declared wildfire disaster; and
- The replacement cost for the qualified residential structure exceeds the homeowner's coverage under any homeowner's insurance policy associated with the structure.
A qualified homeowner may claim a refund by obtaining and submitting to the department a building permit and a wildfire rebuild exemption certificate for each qualified residential structure from the local government authorized to issue a building permit in the area in which the qualified residential structure is located. The amount of the refund is equal to 4.0% of the estimated construction and building materials cost for repairing or rebuilding the qualified residential structure. The estimated construction and building materials cost is the cost amount used by the local government to collect estimated use tax, as stated in the building permit. If no estimated use tax has been collected, the estimated construction and building materials cost is half of the total contract price or total cost for rebuilding or repairing the qualified residential structure.
The act amends the 3-year statute of limitations for state sales and use tax refund claims to allow a qualified homeowner to claim a refund based on the wildfire rebuild exemption at any time on or before June 30, 2028. The act also requires the department to prioritize refund applications based on the wildfire rebuild exemption over refund applications submitted pursuant to other provisions of law.
For the 2023-24 state fiscal year, $72,267 is appropriated from the general fund to the department for use by taxation services to implement the act.
APPROVED by Governor May 12, 2023
EFFECTIVE May 12, 2023
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)