[StBernard] Road Home and Housing Bill

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Sat Jul 26 19:20:16 EDT 2008

A housing bill passed in the U.S. Senate on Saturday morning also contains
measures to eliminate federal taxes on some Road Home grants.

The Road Home tax relief would apply to homeowners who took a casualty
loss deduction on their 2005 federal tax returns to account for damage to
their homes following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

These homeowners were subsequently required by the Internal Revenue
Service to pay income tax on their rebuilding grants.

Senator Mary Landrieu, who sponsored the measure, said the tax relief was
a long time coming.

"It was our intention that those grants be tax-free, but as it turned out,
they were not." Landrieu told WWL First News. "So, it took us 18 months
to fix it, and what it will mean is between about $5,000 to $30,000
depending on people's tax bracket in tax relief."

The housing bill also removes the deadline under which Gulf Coast
businesses are required to begin construction of new ventures in
hurricane-affected areas in order to benefit from Gulf Opportunity Zone
(GO Zone) bonus depreciation tax benefits.

The Road Home and "GO Zone" provisions are part of a much larger housing
rescue bill aimed at sparing 400,000 struggling homeowners from

President Bush is expected to sign the bill quickly.

The Senate passed the legislation by a 72-13 vote in a rare Saturday

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