Tax Cuts for Renters on the Table in Legislature

Thursday, February 15, 2018
Taryn Luna
Sacramento Bee

A California Senate bill would double the state’s renter’s tax credit for the first time in nearly four decades.

Sen. Steve Glazer, D-Orinda, introduced Senate Bill 1182 on Wednesday to increase the credit to $120 for individuals who earn $40,078 or less and $240 for joint filers with income of $80,156 or less.

“The last time renters got a break, Jimmy Carter was president and Jerry Brown was 41 years old,” Glazer said in a statement. “Rents have skyrocketed since then but the renter’s tax credit has remained frozen in time.”

Glazer asserts that rents have tripled since the last renter’s tax credit increase in 1979. Lawmakers have struggled to respond to rapidly increasing rents, and a ballot initiative to expand rent control is gathering signatures.

Apartment List, a website that aggregates apartment listings, reported in January that Sacramento “continues to experience the nation’s fastest rent growth,” citing a 9.3 percent increase over the last year compared to a state average of 4.1 percent. Median rent in Sacramento is $940 for a one-bedroom and $1,190 for a two-bedroom, according to Apartment List.

San Francisco, where the median rent for a two-bedroom is $3,010, is the most expensive city for renters in California, Apartment List states.

To qualify for the state’s renter’s tax credit, you must live in California for the entire year and pay rent for at least six months at your principal residence, among other provisions.

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