Federal bill could help with recovery after a disaster - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Federal bill could help with recovery after a disaster

SHALLOTTE, NC (WECT) - Emergency officials in Shallotte are asking for support for a bill that could help recovery efforts following a disaster.

It's called the Disaster Savings Account Act. It would amend the Internal Revenue Code to:

-establish tax-exempt disaster savings account to pay the expenses of homeowners for disaster mitigation and recovery expenses

-allow a deduction from gross income up to $5,000 in a taxable year for cash contributions to such accounts

-exclude from gross income distributions from such accounts to pay disaster mitigation and recovery expenses

-set forth tax rules and penalties for excess contributions to disaster savings accounts and for failure to file required reports on such accounts

The mitigation expenses cover proactive measures such as roof coverings, elevating structures and utilities above base flood elevation, etc.

The recovery expenses cover anything needed to replace or repair disaster-related damages not covered by insurance, totaling $3,000 or greater.

In a press release, Andrew Thompson, the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management Coordinator for the Town of Shallotte, said the bill would benefit the community by providing homeowners with a tax incentive to harden their homes, which in turn will reduce the amount of property damage from a disaster.

The bill has been in both the House and Senate committees since February 2014.

Thompson encouraged all current and future homeowners to contact their local representatives to support the bill.

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