Richards proposes aid for disaster re-building
September 14, 2011
Jefferson City - Homeowners and developers affected by natural disasters may soon receive some help in rebuilding efforts thanks to an amendment proposed by Missouri Sen. Ron Richard (R-Joplin).

This amendment, which was adopted during debate on Senate Bill 8, would allow developers and homeowners in federally declared disaster areas to receive a portion of the available tax credits under the Neighborhood Preservation Tax Credit program to construct new homes and rehabilitate damaged ones.

"By letting areas severely affected by natural disasters qualify for this tax credit," Richard said, "we can help citizens all over Missouri rebuild their homes, and restore neighborhoods and communities."

Currently, the Neighborhood Preservation Tax Credit program provides tax incentives for constructing or rehabilitating homes in qualifying areas. The proposed provision encourages construction and rehabilitation of owner-occupied homes in certain areas of the state.

Under the changes created by Sen. Richard's amendment, the tax credit would be available to projects in census block groups where more than 50 percent of the residential structures were destroyed or sustained major damage as a result of a federally declared disaster.

"These changes, if ultimately approved with SB 8, would benefit areas all over Missouri recovering from natural disasters, from tornado-ravaged Joplin to communities in the southeast and northern parts of the state affected by this year's rampant flooding," said Richard.

The tax credits would work with 15 percent of the costs, up to $25,000, for construction of new homes, and 25 percent of costs, up to $25,000, for rehabilitating homes. The funding for this tax credit program would be subject to the appropriations process to ensure enough funding is available for all of the needs throughout the state.

The amendment is tied to Senate Bill 8, which was delivered to the House for debate by the Senate on Wednesday. Richard hopes the House can embrace the same sense of bi-partisanism that allowed the legislation to receive overwhelming approval in the Senate.

"Missouri has endured one of the worst years for natural disasters in the history of our state," Richard said. "While rebuilding efforts are underway, there are still many people without homes. Entire neighborhoods are gone. These citizens and communities need our help, and this amendment is an effective way to do that."

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