WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator John Boozman is pushing to make a package of tax credits and incentives that has been offered to victims of previous natural disasters available to Arkansans hurt by the recent floods and tornadoes.
The “Southeastern Disaster Tax Relief Act”—which Boozman signed on as an original cosponsor—extends approximately twenty tax credits and incentives to those affected by recent tornadoes, severe storms and/or flooding that swept through Arkansas and neighboring southeastern states in April and May.
“For many Arkansas families, the devastation that they’ve had is equivalent to Hurricane Katrina or other natural disasters. The provisions of the ‘Southeaster Disaster Tax Relief Act’ would help Arkansans, who lost so much as a result of the tornadoes and floods, rebuild their lives,” Boozman said.
The provisions of “Southeastern Disaster Tax Relief Act” would encourage charitable giving, provide incentives to damaged small businesses to retain employees, allow those adversely affected by the storms to write-off certain clean-up costs, and provide penalty-free early withdrawal from retirement plans and education tax credits, among other relief.
“This series of violent storms and flooding has put an extraordinary strain on our local governments and have severely impacted our agricultural sector. Despite state and local efforts to clean up and rebuild, our communities need more help to recover. This package will help provide additional relief for the many who are still struggling to pick up the pieces in the wake of these devastating storms,” Boozman said.
In recent years, tax relief and incentives have been provided on a case-by-case basis to help rebuild after several major disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina and following the tornadoes and flooding in the Midwest in 2009. The benefits in the bill would apply to individuals and businesses that are located in declared disaster areas and are eligible for individual assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for storms between April 13 and June 7, 2011.
The bill is fully offset by rescinding unobligated federal spending so it does not increase the national debt.