Disaster victims across the Midwest would have more time to apply for tax breaks to help them repair or replace their devastated homes under legislation being introduced by Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley. He notes there are dozens of Iowans who lost their homes in the record 2008 flooding who are still waiting on government buy-outs.
“A house is ruined in a few minutes when the flood hits,” Grassley says, “but banks and governments can take what seems to be an eternity when it comes to recovery.” Due to delays in federal funding, Grassley says many homeowners in Iowa and elsewhere won’t be able to meet the deadlines for the tax relief intended to help with recovery.
Grassley says, “The tax relief that would be extended in what I just introduced will make sure families and individuals get tax relief they’re entitled to, even if they need more time to get permanent housing or are waiting to have their damaged homes purchased by local governments.”
Grassley’s earlier bill, the Heartland Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2008, was signed into law in October last year, granting temporary tax relief to Midwesterners who were hit by the floods and tornadoes. He says the tax relief is very similar to what Congress offered people who were struck by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
“It is pretty much the same thing and I did get it passed last year but it expires at the end of one year and so that’s why it has to be reauthorized,” Grassley says. “We do this for Hurricane Katrina victims, even five years afterwards.” Key tax provisions from last year’s disaster tax relief bill expire on January 1st of 2010. The new legislation will extend the benefits for a full year.