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Rick Scott, Byron Donalds Introduce Bill to Help Floridians, Puerto Ricans Impacted by Hurricanes Ian, Nicole, Fiona

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Members of the Florida delegation are throwing their support behind U.S. Sen. Rick Scott’s, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds’, R-Fla., proposal to provide “enhanced disaster loss tax relief to those affected by Hurricane Ian, Nicole, and Fiona, which impacted Florida and Puerto Rico in 2022.”

Scott and Donald introduced the “Hurricane Tax Relief Act (HTR Act)” last week with U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., Scott Franklin, R-Fla., Jenniffer González-Colón, R-PR, and Bill Posey, R-Fla., backing it.

The proposal modifies “the deduction for personal casualty losses in the hurricane disaster area to eliminate (1) the requirement for losses to exceed 10 percent of adjusted gross income to qualify for the deduction and (2) the requirement to itemize” and “mirrors what has been done for previous hurricanes and natural disasters, and previous legislation enacting these provisions has been put into law recently as 2020.”

Supporters of the bill showcased it this week.

“The last thing families should have to worry about as they recover from devastating storms like Ian, Nicole and Fiona is a big tax bill,” said Rick Scott. “In years past, Congress has worked to make sure that families can get the disaster loss tax relief they deserve following hurricanes, and this good bill follows that precedent. Communities in Florida and Puerto Rico have shown incredible strength in the days, week and months following these storms, and it is critical that we continue to make sure the federal government is working with state and local officials to get resources to those in need. I’m thankful for my colleagues, Senator Rubio and Representatives Donalds, González-Colón, Posey and Franklin, for their support of this bill that will help so many still recovering from these storms.”

“One of the many flaws of the recent omnibus, which was drafted behind closed doors, is that it did not provide common sense tax relief for families, businesses, and communities that were impacted by hurricanes,” said Rubio. “I am pleased to introduce this measure to provide much needed support for Floridians.”

“As the congressman representing ground zero of Hurricane Ian’s impact, it has been my utmost priority to restore our community and ensure the federal government is working to help, not hold up our recovery efforts,” said Donalds. “I am proud to work with Senator Rick Scott on this commonsense and collaborative approach to providing critical and enhanced disaster loss tax relief to those impacted by Hurricane Ian and other natural disasters in 2022. This bill provides much needed and focused financial assistance that will undoubtedly alleviate the economic burden of many in my district and throughout Florida and Puerto Rico.”

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“Our friends and neighbors impacted by last year’s disastrous hurricane season need all the help they can get as they continue to rebuild their communities, said Franklin. “They shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not they meet a threshold defined by complicated tax codes. The Hurricane Tax Relief Act is a common sense fix that could have positive impact for millions of Floridians.”

“Back-to-back storms last fall claimed lives, destroyed homes and properties, and caused serious financial strain on families all over Florida, which was only compounded by skyrocketing inflation and supply chain issues,” said Posey. “We continue to hear from constituents who were affected by these terrible storms, so I am pleased to join Congressman Donalds and Senator Scott and I appreciate their leadership on this commonsense legislation to provide much-needed tax relief.”

“My goal is to remove the red tape and make sure our fellow Floridians have all the relief they need and deserve as they work to recover from this devastating hurricane,” said Bilirakis.

“As communities continue to rebuild after Hurricanes Ian, Nicole, and Fiona, it is imperative that they have the resources necessary to recover,” said Diaz-Balart. “I am proud to cosponsor this legislation that will provide much-needed relief to those affected by these devastating storms. I commend my colleagues, Congressman Byron Donalds and Senator Rick Scott, for their leadership in this effort.”

Scott’s bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee. Donalds’ bill was sent to the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee.

Author

  • Kevin Derby

    Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.

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