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LA Mayor Backs Tax Credit To Fund Quake Retrofitting Plan

VAN NUYS ( — Supporters of retrofitting certain properties in Los Angeles to make them less vulnerable to earthquakes have long struggled with a way to fund such a massive effort.

Now, city officials say they have a plan.

Mayor Eric Garcetti and other city officials on Wednesday joined Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian of Van Nuys to voice their support for proposed state legislation that would offer a 30 percent tax credit on seismic improvements over five years.

Assembly 428, which is being introduced this week by lawmakers in Sacramento, proposes that improvements be made
to "soft-story" structures built before 1980, which are typically wood-framed apartment buildings with weak first floors built above carports.

Nazarian told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO his bill could help ease the financial burden.

"This is a bill that's gonna look at all the vulnerable properties and try to offer expense recovery up to 30 percent over a five-year period," said Nazarian.

Under Garcetti's plan, retrofits of non-ductile reinforced concrete buildings to be completed within 25 years of the building being determined vulnerable.

Those buildings - which number about 1,500 citywide - have brittle columns and frame connectors that experts say could easily break during shaking.

Passage of AB 428 "would take an important step in making my seismic resilience plan a reality, providing a tax benefit to help building owners complete lifesaving retrofits," Garcetti said. "I urge the state Legislature
to pass this important legislation."

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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