Dozens of California lawmakers are backing a bill that would increase the tax credit for renters by several hundred dollars, marking the first potential tax relief increase in decades.
The bill, Senate Bill 843, would increase the tax credit for joint filers earning $87,066 or less from $120 to $1,000, and from $60 to $500 for single filers earning 43 $533 or less. It would be the first tax credit increase since 1979 if the proposal is passed.
The bill would also make single parents eligible for the same credit as couples and allow people to receive the full credit even if the amount exceeds their tax liability.
“For too long, we’ve treated renters as the doormat outside of California’s economic stimulus house,” said the bill’s author, Sen. Steve Glazer, D-Orinda. “We cannot make an economic return without tenants having their rightful place inside. Renters have waited 42 years for a modest level of fairness in our tax code. We can’t keep them waiting any longer.
The bill would make the tax credit available to nearly 2.4 million renters in California, according to Glazer, who cited 2019 estimates from the Franchise Tax Board.
“An increase in the tax credit for tenants will mean people won’t have to choose between putting food on the table, taking their kids to the doctor, and paying rent,” Glazer said in a statement.
Glazer’s bill has the support of 42 other lawmakers, including Republican Congressman Steven Choi, R-Irvine, Senator Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, Congresswoman Janet Nguyen, R-Huntington Beach and Senator Brian Jones, R-Health.
One lawmaker cited the state’s projected budget surplus arguing for the bill.
“The state’s $45 billion budget surplus was built on the backs of hard-working Californians, including renters, who now deserve a break,” Jones said in a statement.
The credit-tenant was created in 1972. The legislator increased it in 1979, where it has remained since.
“Since its only increase in 1979, rents in California have increased more than five times while tenant credit has remained stable. The state’s median rent exceeds $1,500 per month for a two-bedroom apartment, and rentals in cities like San Francisco average more than $2,700 per month,” according to a statement from Glazer’s office.