Washington, DC—U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) today put his support behind a plan that will provide tax relief to South Dakotans affected by this year’s historic flooding. Johnson cosponsored of the Tax Relief for Victims of Disasters Act, which aims to help individuals across the country recover from this year’s natural disasters. The provisions in the bill are similar to those enacted following major disasters in the past like Hurricane Katrina.
“Through no fault of their own, many South Dakotans were devastated by Missouri River flooding this year,” Johnson said. “When I traveled to the Dakota Dunes, Yankton and the Pierre/Fort Pierre areas, I saw firsthand the damage to homes and businesses caused by the sustained high water levels. The Tax Relief for Victims of Disasters Act will help South Dakotans trying to rebuild after 2011’s historic flooding.”
The tax waivers in the legislation would be available for individuals in Presidentially-declared disaster areas that occur between December 31, 2010 and January 1, 2013. To read the legislation, click here.
The provisions include: removing the $100 minimum on items that can be deducted for uninsured losses; waiving the requirement that net losses must exceed 10 percent of a taxpayer’s adjusted gross income (AGI) in order to write off uninsured losses; giving a $500-$2,000 tax exemption to individuals who provided housing to those displaced by flooding; and allowing families who have had their work disrupted by a disaster to calculate earned income and child tax credits using their earned income from the prior taxable year.
In addition to cosponsoring today’s legislation, Johnson is also part of a bipartisan working group of Senators from Missouri River states. The group has discussed river management and called for oversight hearings to ensure that lessons from this year are applied to future management.