PATERSON - During a meeting this afternoon in Trenton with Governor Chris Christie and members of the New Jersey Congressional delegation, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-08) called for bipartisan support of legislation he is working on to provide tax relief to the victims of Hurricane Sandy. The legislation, modeled after a similar bill passed into law in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, is aimed at providing tax relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy in areas designated as Federal Disaster Areas by the President.
"I’m going to fight as hard as I can to ensure Congress appropriates a supplemental disaster relief package this year and we’ll fight for every dime we’re owed. But we also need to be creative," said Rep. Pascrell, New Jersey's only member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee. "As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, I recognize we have a unique opportunity to use the tax code to help families, communities and businesses in New Jersey get back on track after this devastating storm. We need the bipartisan support of Governor Christie and the entire New Jersey delegation to get this critical tax relief to victims of Sandy in order to help them rebuild their lives."
The legislation will compliment the federal governments relief and recovery efforts by providing additional tax relief to businesses, individuals and municipalities affected by Hurricane Sandy, including:
• Waiver of Adjusted Gross Income limitation for theft/loss deduction, so individuals can deduct the cost of uninsured losses, and increase the standard deduction for those who do not itemize their tax returns.
• Increase the limitation on charitable contributions for disaster relief.
• Look-back Provision for Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit, to allow a family in the affected region to opt to use their previous year's earnings to calculate their Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit.
• Allowing businesses to expense the cost of disaster recovery.
• Allowing businesses to use Net Operating Loss to recover past tax payments or reduce future tax payments, if they are operating with no tax liability during the prescribed period.
• Waiver of certain mortgage revenue bond requirements, easing access to capital.
• Increase in new markets tax credit for investments in community development entities serving Hurricane Sandy disaster areas.
• Allowing public utilities to reduce their tax liability when rebuilding or replacing assets damaged in the storm.
• Work Opportunity Tax Credits for displaced workers.
Public and Municipal Assistance:
• New authority for affected states to issue state and local, and private activity bonds, modeled after GO Zone bonds issued after Hurricane Katrina, to help rebuild infrastructure, utilities and public buildings destroyed by the storm.
• Increased allocation of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit for declared disaster areas.