Sandy Tax Relief Bill Introduced

Representative Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) introduced H.R. 2137, the Sandy Tax Relief Act of 2013, on May 23. The legislation was also introduced in the 112th Congress but was not taken up by the House (see Memo, 12/14/12). H.R. 2137 is very similar to the legislation in the 112th, although some provisions related to the 2012 tax year have been omitted as they are no longer relevant. No companion legislation has been introduced in the Senate.Among other provisions, H.R. 2137 would take steps to address some outstanding housing needs related to Super Storm Sandy. Specifically, the measure would increase the allocation of Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) to $8 per individual, from the current $2.25 per capita, in states containing counties that were presidentially declared disaster areas after Super Storm Sandy. The measure would also provide for $250 million in New Markets Tax Credits to make qualified low income community investments within the declared disaster areas.Mr. Pascrell said in a press release, “This legislation will go a long way towards filling this gap by providing immediate tax relief to those impacted by Sandy's devastation. Similar tax relief has been passed following some of our country's worst natural disasters, and Sandy victims deserve nothing less than the same treatment. Despite stepping up to the plate when other regions of the country have been hit by natural disasters, the Northeast was left waiting more than three months for federal aid following Sandy. We simply can't allow this double standard to continue to hamper recovery efforts.”The original co-sponsors represent bipartisan support for the measure:: Rob Andrews (D-NJ), Tim Bishop (D-NY), David Cicilline (D-RI), Joe Courtney (D-CT), Joe Crowley (D-NY), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Elliot Engel (D-NY), Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), Michael Grimm (R-NY), Rush Holt (D-NJ), Steve Israel (D-NY), Peter King (R-NY), Leonard Lance (R-NJ), James Langevin (D-RI), John Larson (D-CT), Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Grace Meng (D-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ), Charles Rangel (D-NY),Tom Reed (R-NY), Jon Runyan (R-NJ), Jose Serrano (D-NY), Albio Sires (D-NJ) and Christopher Smith (R-NJ).H.R. 2137 has been referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.