PG&E Settlement Payments Will Be Excluded From California Tax Returns

Residents of Southwestern Shasta County and Northwestern Tehama County who suffered losses from the Zogg Fire are getting financial break from the state. California Senator Brian Dahle introduced a bill earlier this year that excludes PG&E settlement payments from counting as gross income for tax purposes. That bill has now become law, providing a small bit of relief. PG&E has agreed to pay out huge sums to avoid criminal prosecution, including a $50 Million settlement made with Shasta County a month ago. The nation’s largest utility had faced 31 criminal charges, including four counts of involuntary manslaughter, but that was canceled with the settlement. Other settlements have been made privately with individual victims. The Zogg Fire started in September of 2020 when PG&E electrical lines were brought down by a Gray Pine Tree that was marked for removal, but was not removed in time. The fire destroyed 56,000 acres and more than 200 buildings and killed four residents as they tried to escape. There’s also a separate penalty of $150 Million ordered by the California Public Utilities Commission.