Pascrell Makes the Case for the Hurricane Sandy Tax Relief Act of 2013
Last week we posted Bipartisan Coalition Introduces Sandy Tax Relief. This is an effort lead by Congressmen Pascrell, LoBiondo and Rodney Frelinghuysen to pass the Hurricane Sandy Tax Relief Act of 2013, modeled after a similar bill passed into law in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, is aimed at providing tax relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy in areas designated as Federal Disaster Areas by the President.
On Friday May 24th, Congressman Pascrell published an op-ed in the Star-Ledger – Plugging the gaps on Sandy aid – that made the case for passage of this crucial legislation.
In the op-ed, Congressman Pascrell states:
Despite the fanfare, the news is not so bright for many in New Jersey. In my district, away from the spotlight, towns such as Moonachie and Little Ferry are still struggling to recover from devastating flooding. Thousands of people across the state remain displaced. And every day, New Jerseyans wonder whether their flood insurance and the federal aid will be enough to make them, their families and businesses whole again.
The legislation will complement the federal government’s relief and recovery efforts by providing additional tax relief to businesses, individuals and municipalities affected by Hurricane Sandy, including:
Increased allocation of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit for declared disaster areas.
Waiver of certain mortgage revenue bond requirements, easing access to capital.
Congressman Pascrell makes the case by stating:
These steps will help speed our recovery and plug the gap between what federal aid and insurance payments are providing to help New Jersey families and businesses. There is strong precedent for this approach. Tax-relief packages have been passed routinely by Congress in the wake of some of our country’s worst natural disasters.
Only three weeks after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf of Mexico region, Congress passed a tax-relief bill. In subsequent years, relief followed for victims of Hurricanes Rita, Wilma and Ike, counties in Kansas hit by storms and tornadoes, and severe weather and flooding in the Midwest.
So why has Hurricane Sandy, the second-costliest natural disaster in our country’s history, been treated differently? It’s part of the same disturbing pattern that previously held up the initial federal disaster aid in Congress for more than three months. After decades of stepping up when other parts of the country have been hit by natural disaster, the Northeast is being left to hold the bag during our time of need. This is nothing less than an outrage. Hurricane Sandy victims deserve the same treatment Congress provided to other areas of the country when they faced similar hardship.