Drazan to Serve on Wildfire Economic Recovery Council

House Republican Leader Christine Drazan, Canby’s first-term state representative, has been chosen to serve on the new Wildfire Economic Recovery Council, which is tasked with recovery efforts for all the major fires in the state.

In an email statement, Drazan vowed to “represent the residents of Clackamas County and all Oregonians who have been impacted by these fires.”

“We will work to ensure all Oregonians who lost their homes and businesses will have the support they need to clean up, rebuild and move forward,” she promised.

The new council, created by Governor Kate Brown, is co-chaired by two statewide elected officials, Labor Commissioner Val Hoyle and State Treasurer Tobias Read.

The group held its first meeting on Oct. 5, which included a statewide overview of impacted communities and lessons learned from previous recovery efforts in communities such as Paradise, Calif.

“With over a million acres burned, thousands of homes and businesses destroyed, and so many Oregonians facing devastating loss due to wildfires, the work of this council — economic recovery for impacted communities — is of significant importance as we begin the work of rebuilding,” Governor Brown said.

She said the council will work to help counties implement economic recovery solutions, bringing together federal, state, and local resources to support communities impacted by wildfires.

The group’s roster includes other elected officials, representatives from congressional offices, state agencies and community leaders. The council’s initial work-up is due by Dec. 31.

Tax Assessments for Damaged or Destroyed Property

If your home or property was damaged or destroyed in the wildfires, you can find tax assessment information on Clackamas County’s website.

Oregon’s tax year runs from July 1 through June 30 of the subsequent calendar year. Taxes on property that has experienced a casualty loss due to either an act of God or a fire during the tax year may be eligible for reduction. The reduction is referred to as a “proration of tax.”

The application must be submitted to the county tax collector no later than the end of the tax year in which the damage or destruction occurs, or 60 days after the date the property was damaged or destroyed, whichever is later. The end of the tax year is June 30.

Applications are available at oregon.gov/dor or at each county tax collector’s office. File your application with the county tax collector, who will consult with county assessment staff to determine whether or not the property has been damaged or destroyed and how much value was lost.

Update Information with FEMA to Avoid Delays

FEMA Disaster Assistance is available for those affected by wildfires in Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, and Marion Counties. Register by visiting DisasterAssistance.gov, calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or using the FEMA app.

Click to access FEMA-Registration-Flyer-Eng-Sp.pdf

Oregon homeowners and renters who registered for FEMA disaster assistance for help after wildfires should stay in touch with FEMA to ensure the disaster assistance process stays on track.

Survivors should update contact information as soon as possible because FEMA may need to reach them to perform virtual home inspections or get additional information.

FEMA encourages survivors to request direct deposits of disaster assistance to their checking or savings accounts. Survivors should let FEMA know as soon as possible of any changes to their banking information.

It’s important to note that FEMA disaster assistance checks cannot be forwarded. If you cannot access your home address, you can request the postal service to hold your mail.

There have been reports of residents who have been denied FEMA benefits. If you received a letter from FEMA that says you’re ineligible for assistance, that’s not the last word. A quick fix, like providing more information, may change FEMA’s decision.

This fact sheet from FEMA can help you understand the reasons you may have been denied and how to appeal.

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