U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA) called for support of a bill on Tuesday that would provide relief to victims of natural disasters in Louisiana and around the country.
Boustany’s renewed call for support of the National Disaster Tax Relief Act, H.R. 3110, came amid widespread flooding in Louisiana.
“Unfortunately, Louisianans know well that it only takes one storm or natural disaster to destroy your home, business, church or school,” Boustany said. “But Louisianans have proven time and again we have the grit and determination to rebuild.”
The bill would allow the expensing of disaster costs like debris removal and demolition and would increase tax deductions for charitable contributions that support disaster relief.
“I believe we must give Louisianans whose lives are turned upside down the chance to rebuild,” Boustany said. “That’s why I am renewing my efforts to pass federal tax relief for disaster victims to ensure we give hard-working families every opportunity to get back on their feet.”
Under the bill, tax-exempt retirement plan funds could be used in federally declared disasters without penalty. An additional tax exemption would also be extended to displaced individuals, while there would be an exclusion from gross income of imputed income from the cancellation of indebtedness because of a federally declared disaster.
The bill would also establish a special rule allowing individuals affected by any disaster from 2012-2015 to claim a full earned income tax credit.
U.S. Reps. Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Ralph Abraham (R-LA) and Garret Graves (R-LA) cosponsored the Natural Disaster Tax Relief Act.