Louisiana congressmen lead effort to give flood victims tax, financial relief

Louisiana congressmen lead effort to give flood victims tax, financial relief

WASHINGTON, DC (WAFB) - Two Louisiana representatives have introduced legislation into Congress to help Louisiana flood victims financially recover from the historic flooding events of 2016 and other natural disasters of the past year.

Congressman Garret Graves (R-LA) and Congressman Cedric Richmond (D-LA) have introduced into legislation the bill H.R. 2849, also known as the Louisiana Flood and Storm Devastation Act of 2017.

The bill is designed to grant homeowners and individuals emergency tax relief, to waive early-withdrawal penalties for flood victims who used retirement savings for their recovery and to create tax incentives that encourage business reinvestment into affected communities.

"Too often after disasters, government actually gets in the way of recovery – coming in and compounding the hassle for people struggling to put their lives back together instead of helping them," said Graves. "This bill is a chance for government to facilitate recovery through relief and financial flexibility so that individuals aren't penalized for wanting to take care of themselves."

The tax relief provisions in the bill would be available to people affected by the 2016 spring and August floods and the tornados in February 2017.

Provisions include giving homeowners the ability to withdraw from retirement accounts without incurring penalties, casualty loss provisions, work opportunity tax credits for employers, and relief for certain charitable giving.

Louisiana Congressmen Ralph Abraham, M.D. and Clay Higgins were also original co-sponsors of the legislation, whose next step in the legislative process is consideration by the House Ways and Means Committee.

You can read the bill here.

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