WASHINGTON, D.C. – Under legislation pending before the House, Americans harmed by recent hurricanes, wildfires, and floods, as well as the February 2023 train derailment in Ohio, will receive long-awaited relief. The Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act offers important relief to victims of disasters across hundreds of Congressional districts in nearly every state. The House Committee on Ways and Means approved this legislation on January 19, 2024, putting it on track to help families and communities still working to recover and rebuild.
Since 2021, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has declared over 300 disasters impacting nearly 90 percent of the country. Regardless of where Americans live, no one is safe from disaster—whether it is hurricanes on the East and Gulf Coasts, tornadoes and flooding in the Midwest, or wildfires in the West. Recent natural disasters and accidents have been indiscriminate in their impact, and Congress can ease the burden of rebuilding for the many communities still struggling to pick up the pieces. That is why the Ways and Means Committee took action and passed the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act, providing needed relief to American families and small businesses across the country suffering at no fault of their own.
Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (MO-08) said:
“Families that are struggling after a major disaster event do not need the added stress of settling a complicated tax bill. The costs of protecting your home and rebuilding your community should not be a source of anxiety for victims of disasters. The Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act delivers meaningful tax relief for families whose lives have been turned upside down by a natural disaster.”
During initial consideration of the legislation in November 2023, lead sponsor Rep. Greg Steube (FL-17) said that this legislation “is expansive to cover numerous natural disasters that have occurred, not pick and choose between just my district and another district. This is a bill that should pass out of this House with overwhelming bipartisan support. Disaster relief is not a Democrat problem or a Republican problem. The constituents of my district and in the districts of [those] you represent are in need of help.”
Rep. Doug LaMalfa (CA-1) added: “This legislation is critical for disaster survivors throughout the nation, from hurricane survivors in Florida to Fire Victim Trust claimants in Northern California. Wildfire survivors have waited far too long with this cloud of uncertainty over their heads, not knowing if their settlement money will be taxed. I am hopeful that Congress will quickly pass the bill across the House floor, on to the Senate, and into law so that wildfire survivors can have financial certainty.”
45 states have experienced a covered disaster since 2021.
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