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Flood Assistance Extension Passes General Assembly

Flood victims can again file for tax breaks on appliances, building materials, furniture

The Seal of the State of TennesseeNashville, TN – A proposal to extend the availability of state sales tax refunds to Tennesseans affected by last May’s devastating floods was approved by the legislature on this week, said Rep. Joe Pitts (D-Clarksville).

The 106th General Assembly last year passed legislation granting sales tax refunds on purchases of appliances, furnishings, and building materials for individuals whose homes were damaged during the May flooding of 2010.  House Bill 6 extends the original filing deadline until June 30th, 2011 for all Tennesseans who qualified for Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance.

The measure was passed without opposition in the House after unanimously passing in the state Senate.

“The flood of 2010 resulted in considerable loss of property and life in Middle Tennessee,” said Pitts. “This bill extends the deadline on tax breaks for those that lost so much; and should be a priority of our state government.”

The measure would have no effect on the budget because the sales tax collected on appliances, furnishings and building materials bought by flooding victims would never have been collected in the first place if not for the disaster last May, Pitts said.

The proposal provides for tax refunds on household appliances up to $3,200 per item, building materials up to $500 per item and furnishings up to $3,200 per item. The refunds are capped at $2,500 per household. Also, a $25,000 fine would be imposed on anyone who fraudulently applies for the assistance. Additionally, homeowners who did file for the tax refunds last year but did not reach the $2,500 threshold may file an additional claim on any new purchases they have made since the original deadline, provided they do not exceed the $2,500 limit in total refunds.

Anyone who needs an application can obtain one by visiting the Department of Revenue’s website or by calling my office at 615-741-2043.

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