SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The IRS still has not reversed its position on taxing Californians who ripped out their lawns to conserve water.
Viewers who got rebates feel like they’re being punished for doing their part.READ MORE: Grass Fire Threatens Structures, Forces Evacuations In Elk Grove
Rep. Ami Bera of Rancho Cordova wrote this letter to the IRS asking them to exempt the rebates.
“We’re in the midst of a bad drought,” he said. Consumers and individuals are doing what we want them to do. Let’s not penalize them for doing the right thing.”
In a response, the IRS seems to hint it would take an act of Congress to change the tax code. However, the tax deadline is less than two months away leaving Congress little time to pass a bill.READ MORE: California's Power Grid Operator Urges Residents To Conserve Energy Amid Heat Wave
“We’re in tax season. The quickest way to not penalize folks that are doing exactly what we want them to do is to just change the interpretation,” Rep. Bera said.
When pressed how long he’d wait for a response from the IRS, he said he and other federal lawmakers have legislation ready to go.
“I’m going to do everything I can to try to get this fixed.”MORE NEWS: Man Arrested After Road Rage Incident Involves Gunshots, Illegal Fireworks in Modesto
Rep. Bera does say water agencies should’ve warned Californians they may be taxed on these rebates prior to offering them.