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Flood Relief Tax Break OK’d By Both Houses

Press Release from House Democratic Leader Rep. Gary Odom, D-Nashville; June 8, 2010:

Tax Rebates on Appliances, Building Materials, Furniture Approved by State Legislature

(Nashville) — A proposal to assist the recovery effort for Tennessee flood victims, introduced by House Democratic Leader Gary Odom, was approved by the legislature today.

Under House Bill 228, Tennesseans that qualify for Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance could buy appliances, building materials and furniture tax-free through September.

The measure passed without opposition today in the House after unanimously passing last week in the state Senate.

“We have seen so much devastation to homes throughout Tennessee, and many people remain displaced due to the May floods,” said Odom (D-Nashville). “It’s the least we can do to help our neighbors get back on their feet.”

The measure would have no effect on the budget, Odom said, because the sales tax collected on appliances, furnishings and building materials purchased by flood victims would never have been collected in the first place if not for the recent disaster.

The proposal provides for sales tax rebates on household appliances and furnishings priced at $3,200 per item or less, and building materials priced at $500 per item or less. Each affected household will be eligible for up to $2,500 in tax relief on applicable items. Also, a fine of $25,000 would be imposed on anyone who fraudulently applies for the assistance.

“We’re reminding everyone to save their receipts until the details are finalized,” Odom said. “Applications for these tax rebates will soon be available from the Department of Revenue.”

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