NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) said Tuesday, Dec. 13, that he is working to pass legislation to provide tax relief to Hurricane Ida victims who had to pay the costs. the construction of his house. .

Sixteen months after the Category 4 hurricane hit southeast Louisiana, many homeowners still haven’t received payment from insurance companies.

Troy Croal said he is owed tens of thousands of dollars in Ida’s damages, but his insurer is not forthcoming.

“I have about $60,000 in damages,” Croal said.

And as the holiday season rolls around, many homes sit without repairs due to insurance issues.

“I wish they could finish my house, I’ve been waiting,” said Croal. “I had two adjusters come out. Waiting for the third one he said would be sent. I’m calling, I’m calling, I’m calling. They give me the run around. There is nothing.”

Cassidy’s legislation — if passed — would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow Ida victims to deduct personal disaster losses from income. -their money, even after taking the standard deduction. Current law allows taxpayers to claim losses as itemized deductions.

“We’re going to create special rules for accidents, special losses — especially for Ida victims,” ​​Cassidy said. “It will also remove the 10% threshold that you can deduct from your income. This provision expired in February ’21, so people could not use it for Ida. This allows the same policy to be used for those affected by Ida. “

Cassidy said similar tax relief was available to victims of Hurricane Laura in southwest Louisiana.

“Right now, if someone takes the standard deduction — let’s say they make $80,000 a year — they take a standard deduction, which takes care of charitable contributions, etc., etc. If we can add that — to refinance my house, I had $30,000 that I couldn’t — that could save them $3,000.

Warren Villemarette said his insurance company hasn’t given him any problems, but he agrees the Louisiana insurance market has problems.

“I know that a bunch of insurance companies didn’t reform and left the state, and that’s a big problem because now those who are left holding the bag have to go to this state fund and it’s going overboard,” he said. “And now, it’s become a big problem for homeowners.”

If this law is passed, it will apply to the major natural disasters announced by the president. Cassidy said he thinks it will appeal to members of Congress from other states.

“We can imagine that those returning to wildfires on the West Coast will be interested in these measures as well,” Cassidy said. “I only say this because it means that more than one state, one region is looking for this help. And there is little permission for people to help themselves. “

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