2/7/2014 10:35:00 AM Proposed legislation would offer tax
assistance to victims of natural disasters
In the wake of last month's decision by the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) to deny federal assistance to parts of the state ravaged by the November 2013 tornadoes, state Representative Kate Cloonen is sponsoring a measure that provides tax relief to those that have property damaged by a natural disaster. "Upon hearing the disappointing news about FEMA's denial of public assistance, I joined my colleagues in supporting the appeal of their decision mid-January. Simply sitting idly by and waiting for another decision is not enough to help our community begin to recover the financial losses from cleaning up and rebuilding," Cloonen said.
"By introducing House Bill 4485, I hope to provide residents who have lost their homes and businesses with much needed monetary assistance when they need it most, and I urge my colleagues in the legislature to help quickly pass this vital legislation."
Cloonen is the chief sponsor of the bill that would amend the Income Tax Credit by establishing a natural disaster income tax credit. The credit would equal any amount paid by the tax payer toward rebuilding or restoring structures damaged due to a natural disaster or the costs toward clean up. This measure offers financial protections to victims in some of the following instances: extended periods of inclement weather, fires, floods, tornadoes and storms and proclamation of natural disaster would not be needed from the President of the United States or the Governor.
"As a number of counties continue to rebuild, the income tax credit bill can offer some hope of financial relief at a time when the outcome to the appeal of FEMA's denial of public assistance is uncertain. House Bill 4485 will also help to ensure future communities devastated by natural disasters will receive support in their time of need," Cloonen said.