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Sen. Henry Joins Rep. Odom Calling for Flood-Victim Tax Breaks

Press Release from Sen. Douglas Henry, D-Nashville, May 18, 2010:

Legislation would exempt building, appliance purchases from sales tax

NASHVILLE – State Sen. Douglas Henry (D-Nashville) sponsored an amendment Tuesday to allow flood victims to be exempt from sales tax for purchases of major appliances and home building supplies.

“Many Nashville flood victims lost everything in their homes, including all their appliances,” Henry said. “Giving them a sales tax break could potentially save them thousands of dollars as they rebuild their lives.”

The amendment to Senate Bill 3901, also known as the technical corrections bill, would exempt anyone receiving federal disaster assistance as a result of the early May flooding from paying state and local sales tax on essential home items. Such items would include major home appliances up to $3,200 each and building materials up to $500 each.

Davidson County has been declared a federal disaster relief area, making residents eligible for federal aid. More than 28,000 Tennesseans have applied for federal disaster relief, and the state sales tax break is one more way lawmakers can help Tennesseans in a time of great need, Henry said.

“I have seen my neighbors across Nashville work together to help each other recover, and I want the State to do its part,” Henry said. “I’m optimistic that my fellow lawmakers and I will get this done.”

If approved, the exemption would run through Sept. 30. The amendment is not expected to severely impact revenues, as the state would not have counted on a drastic increase in such purchases had the floods not occurred.

The measure awaits approval in the Senate and House, where Rep. Gary Odom (D-Nashville) is sponsoring the amendment.

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