Story by ECT | East County Today
Assemblyman Marc Steinorth introduced legislation to help Californians defray the rising cost of combating crime.
Steinorth’s Protect Our Homes Act (AB 54) will allow Californians to claim up to $500 in state income tax deductions for the cost of installing security alarms, fences, and surveillance systems.
“Throughout our neighborhoods, I hear ongoing concerns about increasing crime and a lack of funding for law enforcement. At the same time, Sacramento continues to pass reckless laws that put dangerous criminals back on our streets,” said Steinorth. “I am proud to introduce a bill that will help middle class Californians afford the home security equipment they need to protect their families. Peace of mind should not be a financial burden.”
Violent and property crimes in California increased by roughly eight percent in 2015 compared to years prior, according to a recent FBI crime report. This increase is significantly higher in California in comparison to nationwide crime rates, which saw only a four percent increase in violent crimes and a 2.6 percent decrease in property crimes in the same year.
In 2014, the state adopted Proposition 47, which reduced sentences for certain felonies, including gun theft and possession of “date rape” drugs. Proposition 57, which was approved in November, will make parole easier for certain criminals. It was widely opposed by law enforcement and victims’ rights groups, who argued that it would increase crime and benefit felons convicted of crimes like raping an unconscious person, domestic violence, and burglary.
In addition to AB 54, Assemblyman Steinorth also reintroduced legislation to enable first-time homebuyers to open a Homeownership Savings Account. The bill will allow new homeowners to more easily plan and save money without taxation to realize their dream of homeownership and upward economic mobility.
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