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Quake Tax Deductions

March 06, 1994

* I applaud your support for Rep. Howard L. Berman's (D-Panorama City) proposal to allow individuals to deduct all uninsured earthquake losses suffered in the Northridge earthquake from their federal income tax returns (editorial, Feb. 22).

I want to bring your attention to the fact that I've authored SB 561, which will provide relief identical to the Berman bill for individuals filing state income tax returns. SB 561 also allows a carry-over to future years of 100% of excess losses. Current law allows for only a 50% carry-over.

California's economic strength depends on the economic health of a dynamic Southern California. Southern California is at a crossroads. The next couple of years will determine whether Los Angeles regains its cultural and economic vitality or whether, like many Eastern cities, it becomes a place where only the very rich and the very poor live.

We must view the recent crisis as a beginning, not an end. We can help jump-start the economy by making sure that taxpayers in the San Fernando Valley and other areas damaged by the quake have some financial incentive to rebuild and stay here. Passage of both the state and federal measures is crucially tied to securing Los Angeles' future economic well-being.

HERSCHEL ROSENTHAL

State Senator, D-Los Angeles

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