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More Flood Assistance Tax Breaks Are on the Way
In May of this year, flooding devastated many parts of Nashville and Middle Tennessee causing unprecedented damage. In response to this tragedy, the Davidson County Delegation led a coalition of other legislators across the state in sponsoring a bill that put more than $20 million into the state budget to fund sales tax breaks for flood victims.
We have learned in the last few weeks that many victims missed the September 30 deadline. This was due, in part, because many victims are just now receiving financing for repair on their homes.
We have also learned that the amount of refunds granted so far have fallen short of the amount budgeted for this tax relief, leaving the state with adequate funds to help those that could not meet the September 30 deadline.
I have been working with the Department of Revenue, Senator Douglas Henry and the Davidson County Delegation to pass legislation early next year to extend this deadline. This legislation, which we drafted this week, will be one of the first items of business when the Legislature convenes in January.
Under the current law, which passed in June, Tennesseans who qualified for Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance were eligible to receive sales tax refunds on purchases of appliances, building materials and furniture made prior to September 30.
Sales tax refunds are available on purchases of household appliances up to $3,200 per item, building materials up to $500 per item and furnishings up to $3,200 per item. The sales tax refunds are capped at $2,500 per household.
Receipts for items bought on or before September 30 should be filed with the state Department of Revenue anytime prior to November 30.
I encourage everyone to keep their receipts. Under the proposed legislation, receipts for items bought after September 30, will be accepted beginning early next year following the enactment of the legislation. In addition, the proposed legislation would allow those citizens who have not met the $2,500 cap to be eligible for a second refund on additional items bought after September 30.
It is important that we let our friends and neighbors, who lost so much this May, know of the efforts to extend the sales tax refunds for flood victims. We want everyone eligible to be able to get this assistance. Any¬one with ques¬tions can call the Depart¬ment of Rev¬enue at 1–800-342 1003 toll-free or 615–253-0600 or visit the web¬site at www.state.tn.us/revenue. Ques¬tions may also be directed to the Office of House Democratic Leader Gary Odom at 615–741-4410 or email@example.com.